Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
IN RESIDENCE AT CHRIST CHURCH--COMMENCEMENT OF HEBREW LECTURES -- ELECTION OF 1829 -- DEATH OF BISHOP LLOYD -- ARABIC CATALOGUE -- OXFORD SOCIETY IN 1830--SEVERE ILLNESS--SANSCRIT PRO–FESSORSHIP--PUSEY AND ELLERTON SCHOLARSHIPS --INFIDEL LECTURES--BRITISH ASSOCIATION--FIRST UNIVERSITY SERMON--DEATH OF YOUNGEST CHILD-- 'REMARKS ON CATHEDRAL INSTITUTIONS.'
ON coming into residence at Christ' Church Pusey found himself in a society curiously unlike that with which the present generation is familiar. Dean Smith had been at the head of it since 1824; two years were yet to pass before he exchanged it for a golden prebend at Durham. At the head of the canons was the venerable Sub-dean, Dr. Barnes; while amongst them were Bishop Lloyd and Dr. William Buckland, lately appointed, who was nursing the young science of Geology. Archdeacon Pett, whose vigorous common-sense features are still conspicuous in the portrait in Christ Church Hall, was the man of business who generally appears in every Chapter; he found time to administer the estates of Christ Church as well as the archdeaconry of Oxford. The names of Hay, Dowdeswell, and Woodcock have already passed out of public memory. Only two of the canonries were at that date connected with professorships.
The new Professor and his wife were generally welcome in the cultivated but narrow social circle of the old Hebdomadal Oxford. Mrs. Pusey had a great deal of work to do in the way of calling and receiving visitors, and kept a tolerably complete record of these transactions. She was, at this time, of striking appearance, handsome and handsomely dressed. Their domestic establishment was well-appointed; it was in their carriage and pair that Pusey, who had a reputation for being a good whip, drove his wife when exploring the neighbourhood of Oxford and returning visits.
Amidst all his social engagements and duties, Pusey was evidently looking forward with natural anxiety to his first lecture as Professor of Hebrew. He had been, as might be expected, endeavouring to decide upon the best plan for making his professorial lectures useful, and had written to Newman on the subject. In the subjoined letter he acknowledges Newman's reply, and states the difficulties with which he had to grapple
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Pusey House, Saturday even., Jan. 10, .
Your opinion of my lectures (i.e. as relates to beginners) is precisely what I had myself felt; my difficulty was how much, not whether any, or much, ought to be omitted. It was always my own theory that as little grammar as possible should be taught at first, i.e. until the student is sufficiently familiar with the language to take interest in the instances, &c., and the general structure of a language so different from our own--until, in fact, he be in some degree ac–quainted from his own experience with the problems which are to be solved. I fear much that I shall not have such a class as this: the question then is, what is the minimum both of principles and details which can be presented to them, at once to prepare them to judge of these languages by themselves, to put them in possession of some of the principal points which they are to bear in mind, and to find enough in some measure to employ the more active without disgusting those who have either less leisure or less patience. Yet, on the other hand, it seems to me more and more difficult to teach the language in any degree philosophically without entering into a considerable detail of principles, which in the earlier parts, on the formation of words, forms, &c., cannot be done without being very abstract, and con–sequently very dry. Again, unless one teaches them more than the common matter of fact which is to be found in grammars, the lectures will be (as were, at first at least, those of poor N.'s in grammar) thought to be of little use.
I had thought a good deal and indeed intended to adopt the plan of using a Hebrew Grammar (Lee's or Stuart's) as a text-book. I fear, however, that there will be some difficulty in putting this in practice, because that which I have compiled is on too different a plan to be easily conformed to either: something however of this I hope to be able to do, at least to select the portions of Lee's Grammar which should be read previous to each lecture, and criticize this as far as I may venture, but without binding myself down to mere criticism or illustration.
The result of all this is that I am much more perplexed than is at all pleasant just before the commencement of my lectures. Lecture however I must, and, if I lose ground at first, must do my best here–after to regain it.
I saw J. K[eble] twice at Fairford. I am glad to say that he was looking very well, though he said he was obliged to take care of him–self; and declined dining out to meet me. Yet I never saw him, as I thought, looking better.
After his judgment had been matured by five years experience of teaching Hebrew, he wrote as follows:--
E. B. P. TO REV. W. DALBY.
Ch. Ch., Feb. 25, 1834.
... As to the method of reading, what I have found best to answer is, (1) to read at first nothing of grammar but what is absolutely neces–sary: as soon as a person knows the regular grammatical inflexions he should begin to read. Grammar at a later period is much more improving, for it cannot be well understood until something of the language be practically known: it then becomes interesting. (2) In reading the Bible, to become thoroughly acquainted with the meaning of the words in each portion which is read, not troubling one's-self with any meaning a word may have in any other place. A verse should at first be read two or three times, but a person at the end should wish to know nothing but the verse. (3) Read loud. (4) For a long time read no criticisms or commentators--read Hebrew and not about Hebrew. (5) Read the easiest Hebrew (the historical books) for a long time before attempting the more difficult.
You will easily see what mistakes the above rules are intended to guard against. I believe the great source of disappointment in learning Hebrew is that persons are too impatient (it is a very natural eagerness) to turn their Hebrew knowledge to account: but it is of course all wasted time and energy. Persons must submit to learn as children, and go to work patiently and humbly, if they would ever reap the fruit. I would anxiously deprecate an empirical or superficial study, but this is a different thing from recommending the observation of strict method in study, and postponing difficulties which in many cases are only such because the individual comes to them unprepared to encounter them.
Every one, I am sure, who has made advance enough to under–stand and use the Psalms in the original, has had reason to bless God for having put it into his mind to commence the study. No part of my Hebrew knowledge repays me like this. They are indeed green pastures after one has been tormented with the perverseness of human criticism.
I would gladly have written more but that I am leaving Oxford in search of health, and in good hopes that it may please God that I should lecture again next term, which I have not been obliged to intermit for the last three years. I would have sent you also a little tract on the 'Fasts of the Church' but that I know not of a ready conveyance.
He had intended to begin his lectures on January 25th; he actually began on Tuesday, February 3rd. This date--like those of all the leading events in his life--was always kept in his memory. 'This time fifty years ago,' he said on the anniversary in 1879, 'I began to lecture as Regius Professor of Hebrew.' With Pusey these dates were no mere reminiscences; they were remembered so well because each anniversary suggested prayer or praise to the Author of all goodness, Whose hand was reverently recognized in every dispensation, whether of success or failure, of sorrow or joy.
He began with two sets of lectures, one of an elementary character on Genesis, and one for more advanced students on Isaiah. Fifty men came to the first lecture on Genesis. Among those present were G. Moberly, Frederick Oakeley, H. Bulteel, W. Trower, G. A. Denison, C. P. Golightly, J. James, and R. Hussey. Only four students came to the Isaiah lecture; of these were R. I. Wilberforce, of Oriel, and A. P. Saunders, of Christ Church. Writing to Tholuck somewhat later Pusey says:--
'My office is of the greatest interest to me: it is everything that I could wish. I found about fifty who were willing to begin the elements, but four only for my lecture on Isaiah. I need not say how glad I shall be to receive any one recommended by you: if I can induce any promising theologians to visit Germany I will avail myself of your permission to recommend them to you.'
But the course of study at Oxford is liable to inter–ruptions; and an interruption of some seriousness was imminent. Sir Robert Peel had represented the University of Oxford in the House of Commons since 1817, and, from the date of Mr. Estcourt's election in 1826, he had been the senior Burgess. Sir Robert Peel had been for many years a consistent opponent of Roman Catholic Emancipation; session after session he had distinguished himself by eloquent speeches in which he denounced it as fraught with ruin to the best interests of the empire. But O'Connell's return for the county of Clare in 1828 had brought matters to a crisis. In opening the session of 1829 a measure of relief was announced in the King's Speech; and when on February 5th the Oxford Convocation voted a petition against the Roman Catholic claims, a letter from Sir Robert Peel was read, in which he offered to resign his seat on the ground that, as a Minister, he had recommended to the King an 'adjustment' of those claims. The actual recommendation amounted to something more than was implied by the phrase; Peel's resignation was acquiesced in by a majority of his constituents, and Sir R. H. Inglis was invited to fill his place. But a large minority in Convocation were unwilling to part with their distinguished representative, even when not sharing his opinions; and Sir R. Peel was persuaded to contest the seat. The election took place on February 26th and the following day. At the close of the poll, 755 members of Convocation had voted for Inglis, and 609 for Peel.
This election divided men sharply throughout Oxford, and not least in its intellectual centre, the Oriel Common-room. Cardinal Newman has described how it led to a separation between himself and Whately. Newman had petitioned annually for Emancipation; he had voted in 1827 or 1828 against the petition of Convocation: he had no particular sympathy with the rank and file of those who supported it. But in February, 1829, he threw his weight into the scale against Peel. He thought that the Government was treating the University with scant respect; and he was also himself passing from the clientele of Whately to a more intimate association with Keble and Froude.
Keble took a strong line against Peel. He issued a protest addressed to members of Convocation. It is dated Fairford, February 16, 1829. It characteristically takes the form of queries. These queries were drawn up so carefully and modestly that each of them admitted of only one answer. The most important of them, in its practical bearings, runs thus: Whether, considering all circumstances, it will not be safer and more creditable to the University to make a new choice, than to give an implied sanction to a measure which it has so recently and so earnestly de–precated upon the mere authority of any person whatever? His great anxiety was that 'the University should do nothing which might be likely to countenance the dangerous laxity of modern politics.' Peel's change recalled Sir R. Walpole: it enabled bad men 'to disparage the very idea of public virtue.' There might be an adequate explana–tion of it; but, as yet, no such explanation was before the University.
Keble's prominent action on this question brought him into collision with several old friends, notably with Sir John T. Coleridge, with whom he remonstrated in warm terms for joining Sir R, Peel's Committee. But Keble had been forced, much against his will, to take a leading part; and it is not difficult to see in his letters at the time the germs of his sermon on National Apostasy, and the peculiar union of moral and intellectual qualities which made him 'the true and primary author' of the Oxford Movement.
Pusey had never a moment's hesitation in supporting Sir R. Peel. His political Liberalism, as a young man, had led him to take a warm interest in the Emancipation question. He had felt, as we have seen, strongly against the Government when it was opposed to the Roman Catholic claims, and he could not but welcome its conversion. Not the least powerful motive on Pusey's mind would have been furnished by the example and influence of his friend and adviser, Bishop Lloyd. The Bishop's adhesion to the views of the Government may have been in part due to the influence of his old pupil, Mr. Peel; but he supported the Bill both by his voice and his vote when it came into the House of Lords. Pusey, like Keble, also canvassed for votes, but in the opposite interest. 'A letter from Mr. Pusey, at that time one of the most liberal members of the University, decided me to give my vote to Sir Robert Peel' Blanco White--the writer of these words--had been on intimate terms with Pusey, but for a man in his position it required courage to follow Pusey's advice in the present matter. Blanco White, considering his position in England as a convert from the Church of Rome, was especially welcome to the most ardent op–ponents of Roman Catholic Emancipation. He knew full well how his action at Oxford would be received; but he felt that he had no moral choice. He has described the cold looks which met him when he gave his vote in Convocation.
Whately, as well as Blanco White, Shuttleworth, and the Provost of Oriel, were Pusey's allies against Keble, Newman, Hurrell Froude, and Robert Wilberforce. There were some names that became prominent in the Church movement of later years, as Bowden and Woodgate, who, like Pusey himself as Newman used to say, began as political Liberals and became Tractarians. These were on Pusey's side. Pusey wrote to Bishop Lloyd, expressing his regret at Keble's prominent line, and in particular at his 'Queries.' 'Of course,' Pusey observes, 'every supporter of Mr. Peel must have answered the queries to his own satisfaction.' But Keble's method was Socratic; he wished if he could to disturb the satisfaction of Peel's supporters, and his success in doing this scarcely admits of question, while it explains Pusey's annoyance.
Keble was pained at finding himself in what he would have thought undutiful opposition to the Bishop, and two days before the election he begged Pusey to make the necessary explanations:--
REV. J. KEBLE, JUNR., TO E. B. P.
Fairford, 24 February, 1829.
The circumstances of this election having made my name so much more public than I could ever have expected or wished it to be on such an occasion, I cannot be quite easy without asking pardon of all Mr. Peel's friends, and especially (through you) of the Bishop of Oxford, if anything in which I have had a part may have given him a moment's pain: or if I have seemed unworthily suspicious of one for whom he must be deeply interested.
You will give me credit, I know, my dear friend, for having been influenced by a sense of duty, whether erroneous or not, in what I have done on this trying occasion. I have many strong feelings on your side. I deeply sympathise with Mr. Peel in the difficulties of his situation: I am aware that there may be reasons for his not going out of office, of which I cannot possibly judge; above all I have little reason indeed to imagine that if I had been in his place I should have acted with more firmness than I suppose him to have done.
With all these impressions, though I believe it my duty to protest as I have done against his return, I cannot possibly feel any bitterness on the subject; and I shall be truely grieved if I have unwarily expressed any, or given any, unnecessary pain.
I wish, my dear Pusey, if you have a good opportunity, and think it not improper, you would say something of this sort for me to the Bishop. It will be a great comfort to me if he can excuse me.
With best compliments to Mrs. Pusey, and in good hope that how–ever this affair ends it will turn out for the best, since, as far as I can see or hear, it has hitherto been conducted in a good spirit on both sides,
I am ever, my dear Pusey,
J. KEBLE, JUNR.
Bishop Lloyd's support of Roman Catholic Emancipa–tion was of course dictated in the main by his belief that the measure was politically necessary, and logically in–volved in earlier concessions. In so independent a mind this conviction would have been formed by personal reflection; but it was probably reinforced by Mr. Peel. Bishop Lloyd had been Peel's tutor while he was himself still an undergraduate. In 1817 he had been selected to ask Peel to consent to represent the University in Parliament; and their intimacy had been continuously unbroken throughout life. Accordingly, although he had no intention of taking part in political questions, he did not hesitate to do his best in support of the Govern–ment on this occasion. His influence was exerted on Peel's side during the Oxford election; and he rendered efficient service to the Government by his memorable speech during a debate in the House of Lords which marks an epoch in English history. On March 24th a petition against the Government measure from 600 Cambridge undergraduates had been presented by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Bishop Lloyd, while advising that the petition should be allowed to lie on the table, objected strongly to the encouragement of such forms of active interest in politics on the part of undergraduates, and stated that an undergraduate petition in favour of the Bill had been seized by the Proctors at Oxford. On April 2nd the Duke of Wellington moved the second reading of the Bill; an amendment was proposed by Archbishop Howley, and seconded by the Primate of Ireland. Fourth in the debate rose Bishop Lloyd in support of the Govern–ment measure. It is impossible even at this distance of time to read his speech without feeling its courage and its power, even if some of the topics which he urges fail to convince us. Coming from such a quarter, it produced a great impression. In the House it was sharply criticized by Bishop Van Mildert and Lord Farnham: Bishop Lloyd spoke three times afterwards in self-defence. The Bill passed the House of Lords on April 10th by a majority of 105. The attacks to which Bishop Lloyd was exposed outside the House induced him, under Peel's advice, to publish a corrected copy of his speech. It was even said that he was exposed to a slight at Court in consequence of the line which he had felt it his duty to take in Parliament.
His last words in the House of Lords were uttered on April 8th. A few days afterwards he was taken ill; the illness was thought trifling; but it resulted in inflammation of the lungs, and terminated fatally on May 31st, the day after Ascension Day.
Following so closely on the Bishop's prominent action in Parliament, his death made a general and deep im–pression. On Pusey the blow fell with peculiar severity. Even when the illness had become very serious, Pusey, as Cardinal Newman remembered, could not believe that Lloyd would die. He had owed his present position to Bishop Lloyd's friendship: he had been guided, for six years, at every step, by his advice: he mourned his death as that of a 'second father,' as that of
'the guardian friend, with whose guidance I had hoped to steer securely amid all the difficult shoals through which the course of a theologian must in these days probably be held.'
It is natural, but perhaps useless, to speculate on the question what Pusey's theological career would have become had not the strong influence of the friend and patron of his early years been withdrawn thus early. One of the effects of his death was undoubtedly to throw Pusey, although not immediately, into closer contact with the minds which, together with his own, were to give being and shape to the Movement of 1833.
The most serious work of Pusey's life during the five years which followed his appointment to the Chair in November 1828 was the completion of the Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. This Catalogue was but a section of a larger work which had been taken in hand by the Bodleian Curators more than half a century before. It was originally due to the learning and munifi–cence of Archbishop Laud that the Library was so richly endowed, and his example found numerous imitators, while from time to time the collection was increased by purchase. But this mass of literary wealth existed in a form which rendered it practically inaccessible to students. Many of the manuscripts had suffered from long neglect; several were mutilated; portions of one manuscript were bound up with another: they had come into the possession of the University in this condition, but as yet they re–mained in it. To Laud's earnest injunction that they should be properly taken care of and duly used, Convoca–tion had answered: 'Nos haec manuscripta, quibus tam dit‰sti academiam, inscribemus registro, recondemus animo, volvemus manu, enunciabimus lingua, et vita recudemus.' But of these five promises the first had not yet been re–deemed. It was at the instance of Archbishop Secker, among others, that the University first took in hand the work of cataloguing this portion of its treasures. Applica–tion was made to several Oriental scholars; but one after another they shrank from the long and wearisome toil.
At last a Hungarian pupil of Schultens, John Uri, was induced by Sir Joseph Yorke, the British Ambassador at the Hague, to undertake the work. After many years of hard labour, Uri produced the first volume of the Cata–logue in 1787. It is a folio volume of 327 pages; but the amount of reading which it represents is enormous. It describes in terse Latin all that students might wish to know about two thousand four hundred manuscripts--Hebrew, Syniac, Samaritan, Aethiopic, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Coptic. Still, Uri left to the University what was only a splendid fragment. For thirty-four years no effort was made to continue his work. The task was taken up by one who became Pusey's predecessor in the Chair of Hebrew, Alexander Nicoll, at that time Sub-librarian of the Bodleian. Nicoll set to work at the earnest suggestion of the Curators of the Library and of the Delegates of the Clarendon Press. Uri, it seems, had overlooked not a few manuscripts; and the University had made con–siderable additions to its collection since Uri's death. These Nicoll undertook to study and describe in a Supple–mentary Catalogue, and also to make a complete index to this work as well as his own. He was encouraged in his task by the names of most repute in Europe in this department of scholarship--Silvestre de Sacy, Bernstein, and Gesenius. When Nicoll died he had published a first instalment of his work--a folio volume of 143 pages. A much larger volume was needed to complete it, and of this he had at the time of his death prepared 388 pages folio.
The work that yet remained was indeed gigantic. It took Pusey no little time and labour to ascertain exactly the condition in which Nicoll had left his notes and the lines on which he intended to carry them forward to completion. He had to read through line by line the voluminous notes and extracts in Nicoll's handwriting, besides revising word by word Nicoll's translations from Arabic into Latin.
He had to make a full index to the labours of his predecessors, and in doing this he discovered that Uri's work had been far from accurate. Nicoll had not revised Uri's volume, and. Pusey found that Uri's Index of Authors was not only incomplete but misleading. It was seldom, and only in the more accurate manuscripts, that the real name and style of an author was fully stated; in others sometimes the personal name, sometimes the patronymic, sometimes only the name of the tribe to which the writer belonged, was stated. Uri had written out the titles too carelessly to distinguish in all cases between different authors, on to identify the same author under slightly altered designations; and thus before Pusey could complete his final index to the labours of his predecessors as well as his own, his work assumed vast proportions. As he made his way he discovered new fields of labour which Uri had overlooked. The manu–scripts were not only of very unequal value--some of them were forgeries. All the purchasers of the Arabic manu–scripts that had found their way into the Bodleian, with the solitary exception of Pococke, had been imposed upon by the artful Easterns. This discovery obliged Pusey to review all the manuscripts which Uri had catalogued, in order to see whether they agreed with their titles. The common trick had been to prefix the name of some well-known author or treatise to a perfectly worthless manu–script, in the confidence, which appeared to be well grounded, that the buyer would never think of examining the contents of his purchase. Sometimes the real title was covered over with paper; sometimes it was blotted out with ink; sometimes almost scratched out with a knife. A slight and dexterous change in the superscription would at times substitute a famous for an insignificant name; and indeed a single work, bulky but of no great value, might be broken up into three or four fragments. These fragments, ornamented with discreetly appended titles, would have impressed the purchaser,--incautious, trustful, perhaps ignorant,--as acquisitions of real value, while they would have added considerably to the ill-gotten wealth of the artful and unscrupulous vendor. The result of this discovery was that many manuscripts, supposed to be the works of distinguished authors, were at best anony–mous, and Pusey had to spend much time in studying them, in order to discover if possible the name of the writer. In this effort he only occasionally succeeded; the greatest expenditure of toil and time was constantly un–rewarded. Pusey characteristically ascribes this to some deficiency of his own: other labourers in the same field will, he anticipates, succeed much better.
Pusey profusely acknowledges his indebtedness to his masters in Arabic--Professors Kosegarten and Freytag. But the burden of this long and arid labour was his own. Writing eight years after the completion of his task to one who was engaged in a work involving more labour than had been at first anticipated, Pusey expressed himself in what could not have been the language of exaggeration or impulsiveness: 'When engaged on the Arabic Catalogue at the Bodleian I have, as I rose to the drudgery, envied the very bricklayers whom I saw at work in the streets.' The task took up the best part of his time during seven of the most active years of his life, and no idea of what it must have cost him can be gained except by an actual perusal of the result. In later years he would sometimes mourn that so much time had been withdrawn from theology, and then would add, 'Of course it must have been better as God seemed thus to will it.'
Scholars, at any rate, could do justice then, as they do justice now, to this great effort of patient labour. In 1837 his friend Mr. Greenhill, afterwards a well-known Oxford resident, was studying medicine in Paris, and made the acquaintance of the accomplished Baron de Slane, the friend and pupil of Silvestre De Sacy. The conversation turned one day upon Pusey's Arabic Catalogue, and Mr. Greenhill remarked that the Catalogue itself was partly the work of Dr. Nicoll. 'If, sir,' said the Baron, 'Pusey had made nothing but the Index to such a Catalogue, it would have been enough to place him in the first rank of Arabic scholars.'
One feature in the Catalogue which would hardly be noticed at the present day, when illustrations of all kinds have become so general, excited the warm admiration of continental Orientalists. Pusey reproduced in facsimile some lines of the more famous ancient manuscripts. Of the many letters of thanks which Pusey received from foreign scholars and other friends he would probably have valued, and highly, that of his master, Freytag. 'The Catalogue,' wrote Freytag, 'will be an irrefragable proof for those who come after us, both of your talents and of your rare industry.' In return Freytag sent Pusey his Hebrew Grammar. He was printing off the fourth volume of his Arabic Lexicon, and hoped for health to finish it, although he found that the Rectorship of the University of Bonn, which fell to him in that year, would tax his time and strength heavily. The letter breathes the spirit of a devoted friendship: it was apparently the last which Pusey received from Freytag.
Not long after the completion of the Catalogue, Pusey sold his Arabic library: he 'wanted the money for the East London churches and for the Library of the Fathers.' That he did so must be a matter of regret to scholars: a real student's library, in process of time, becomes a literary whole, especially if it has issued in a considerable work, and the margins of the books which compose it have been carefully annotated.
Besides the Arabic Catalogue, Pusey had other literary work in hand. During the remainder of 1829 he was largely occupied with writing the second part of the 'Theology of Germany,' which he finished in March, 1830. He had also already begun to read for his B.D. degree. The exercises for the Divinity degrees were then still con–ducted in Latin and on the ancient model; and although the object of the University in proposing them as a test of theological knowledge was often evaded, they were worthier of the great subject than the English essays which have since taken their place. For Pusey nothing was trivial, and he set himself to read for his Divinity disputations as 'if he was going to write a book.' Owing to his illness in Nov. 1830, and other demands upon his time, he did not graduate as a Bachelor of Divinity until May 10, 1832. He did not take his Doctor's degree until Feb. 27, 1836.
Tholuck had asked Pusey to write an account of current English theological literature, or, as he phrases it, the more modern scientific-theological efforts in England. This account was to appear, at least in substance, in a magazine of theological literature which Tholuck and others were publishing. Pusey's paper represents very extensive read–ing, traces of which may be detected, again and again, in later years. He sent it to Tholuck on May 24, 1830. It cannot but be interesting both as a sketch of English Theology at the time and also as giving Pusey's estimate of it.
Pusey's sorrow at the death of Bishop Lloyd was gra–dually relieved by interests nearer home. Within two months of the Bishop's death, on July 17, 1829, his first child, Lucy Maria Bouverie Pusey, was born at Christ Church, an event which he commemorated year by year with ever-increasing gratitude, until the end of his life. His deepest thoughts about his child find expression in a letter to Tholuck. After explaining the cause of delay in acknowledging Tholuck's last letter, he dwells on 'the intense thought so full of happiness to a Christian parent of the birth of an immortal being.'
The child was christened in the church of Pusey at the afternoon service on Sunday, August 30th, Pusey himself officiating. He made a point of thus blending, when he could, his natural and his sacred ministerial relations towards those around him.
His second child and only son, Philip Edward, was born at Christ Church on June 14, 1830, and was baptized by his father at Pusey Church on the following St. James' Day, July 25, 1830. His third child, Katherine, was born on Jan. 8, 1832; his youngest, Mary (Mrs. Brine), on May 4, 1833.
The October Term of 1830 found Pusey in the full swing of a busy Oxford life. To those who have known the University under very different social aspects, and are familiar with the great names that occur, the picture of the old society suggested by Mrs. Pusey's diary cannot be without interest. 'October 1. Mr. Newman called.-- Sunday, October 3. Twice to the Cathedral. Messrs. Newman and Froude to dinner.--October 4. Walked with Edward and Mr. Newman.--October 20. Called on Mrs. Nicoll, Pett, Hawkins, Buckland, Bridges'.--'October 22. Went to the Museum, the Horticultural Meeting, Magdalen, and All Souls. The Barnes', Dr. Bridges, and Mrs. Page and Buckley to dinner.-- October 23. Called on Mrs. Whately.. . . The Hawkins' and Cardwells called. -- 24th, Sunday. Twice to the Cathedral. Sermon at St. Mary's from Dr. Shuttlewort.h– Mr. Newman dined with us. . . . [Read] Taylor and " Life and Correspondence of Bishop Heber.ä--October 28, Mr. Barnes, Dr. Whately, and Blanco White called.--31st, Sunday. Twice to the Cathedral. Dr. Woodcock's and Mr. Tyler's sermons. Dined at the Provost's. Met the Tylers. Messrs. Wilberforce, Newman, &c., in the evening.--November 8. [Read] Claudius, and [Scott's] " Demonology." Called on Mrs. Barnes, Lloyd, Nicoll, and Pett. Dr. and Mrs. Cotton, the Macbrides, the Cardwells, Messrs. Dornford, Hampden, Lee, Biscoe, and Oakeley to dinner. Lady Lucy breakfasted with us.--November 13. Went to All Souls and Magdalen. Messrs. Ward, Newman, W. Beach, Escott, and William to dinner.' Mrs. Pusey's brief notes are largely occupied with her private reading and domestic affairs; but these extracts illustrate the everyday society in which she and her husband lived, and the inti–macies which were now forming or deepening, and which a few years hence would be of such vast importance to the Church.
On November 19th Mrs. Pusey writes in her diary: 'Edward poorly: with him all day.' This was the begin–ning of an illness which lasted for more than four months; and, at one time, seemed to wear a very serious aspect. A blood-vessel, it seems, had given way; but this was rather the symptom than the cause of a general failure of strength. He had over-exerted himself, mainly by exces–sive study, and then by an effort to speak, when feeling more than usually weak. As soon as possible he was removed by easy stages to Hastings, where he remained until the following March.
This illness had a decisive effects upon Pusey's life and work. It taught him that the almost boundless fields of literary activity which he had hoped to traverse must, some of them, be unvisited. Practically it obliged him to abandon his plan of cataloguing the Arabic manuscripts in all the Oxford libraries. He had to confine himself to the limits of the enterprise which his predecessor, Dr. Nicoll, had sketched out.
But from this illness dates also a deepened earnestness of character and purpose. It was the moral lever which raised him from the atmosphere of Bonn and Berlin to that of the Oxford of later years. Newman, who was himself weak and deaf from overwork, had written to him on the moral value of sickness, with the entire un–reserve of a sincere friend. Pusey's reply shows that, in his own judgment, the warning was needed, and that it was gratefully received.
E. B. P. TO THE REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Hastings, Feb. 1, .
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I know not how to thank you for your very kind and loving letter, which has given me such great pleasure, and which may, I hope, with God's blessing, be the means of doing me good, and which has pained me only (and that wholesomely) in showing me--not how much your inferior I am in humility (for that though I must not be content to remain, I may not be discontented to find myself)--but how poor my humility looks, and that you think so much too highly of me. This has indeed been a season of more than usual thought of myself; and I trust it will have the effects (or at least some of the effects, for all, I dare not hope) for which it was intended, and I hope, even as an instrument to think less of myself than I did some time past. I suspect that there has been a leading mistake of my later life, to view my existence too much in relation to others, not I hope in exclusion to myself; yet still too predominantly. I was of course aware that without making the tree good, the. fruits by which others were to benefit could not be good: yet I fear that often the desire of attaining some, which I thought a great, end and the consciousness of being engaged in a good cause, has engrossed me too entirely, and made me think of my existence too much in reference to what might be accomplished by my means here, instead of looking pre-eminently to the preparing myself to meet my God. I am not sure that I have expressed myself clearly. I hope that it ~has been rather a reversing of the proportions, than a neglect of either: that I have at times looked rather to the becoming fit for Heaven by being useful to others upon earth, than to fit myself for Heaven, and allow my usefulness to follow naturally from my own amendment; to have thought a day lost, according as I had, or had not been useful, rather than as I had advanced myself. Perhaps this among other objects was the end of this long illness, and the consequent inaction: yet I do not think that this time, I have, since the very first, been at all impatient of my inaction; and if I was anxious to return at the beginning of this Term, it was not from the wish of being personally engaged, but to prevent calumny attaching to us generally from any omission, if not absolutely necessary.
You will perhaps not think matters much improved, if I say that I have not so much been impatient of inaction as of employments, which I thought necessary, but still had no immediate good religious result in view, as my 'defence' and the Arab. Cat., since I ought to have been content to discharge these offices, if they became necessary, and the more so, as the one was in part a punishment, which I fear I never thought of. I am however not concerned to clear myself in any degree, but to make the best use, which God shall enable me, of your kind advice, and to enable you to continue it, as occasion may offer.
I have not time for more, except to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the very Christian friendship of your letter. I do hope that you will, at least, though I fear slowly, see such effects as to encourage you to proceed, but you, I know, will proceed without such outward encouragement.
I commend to your kind services, if any occasion offers, my servant Richard (the bearer of this), whom I have sent home in consequence of his sudden loss..
With blessings and prayers for you,
Ever your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
Writing some months later to Mr. B. Harrison he uses his own experience:--
'You will, I trust, be constantly reminded that continued sober and steady exertion is, with God's blessing, most likely to preserve the frame of mind as well as the strength necessary to be permanently useful to His Church. . . . Having repeatedly exhausted myself, I dread to see over-exertion in others: I suspect also that, at such times, one is inclined to ascribe more to one's own agency than is fitting.'
His own object henceforth was to devote himself more exclusively to the duties of his Chair in the wide and deep sense in which he understood them, and thus, so far as he might, to promote the work of the Church of Christ.
Mr. Newman at this time had begun to write on the Thirty-nine Articles, and had also accepted a proposal of Mr. H. J. Rose and Mr. Lyall to 'furnish them with a history of the principal Councils,'--an effort which, in the event, issued in that most stimulating and instructive of books, 'The Arians of the Fourth Century.'
Pusey's relations with him on these subjects are ex–hibited in the subjoined letter:--
E. B. P. TO THE REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Hastings, March 17, 1831.
MY DEAR NEWMAN,
I have been so much occupied for the last two days with out-of-doors employment about a poor invalid, ill in body and mind and estate, that I have not had time to write more than two very urgent letters. I am truly glad that you have undertaken the work on the Articles, as I think it is very much wanted, and there seems scarcely a commencement of what you will do satisfactorily, an illustration of the historical sense of the language employed in them. With regard to the Councils, though, as generally treated, they are the driest portion of Ecclesiastical History, I should think an account of them might be made both interesting and improving, by exhibiting them in reference to and as characteristic of the age in which they occurred. You may also be of much service, I hope, in stemming heterodoxy, one of whose strongest holds is perhaps the so-called history of doctrines. I shall be much rejoiced, then, if you undertake the whole task proposed. I do not think that there will be much to be gained for your object from German writers, or rather to be lost from your not consulting them; but I shall be most glad, when at Oxford, to render you any assistance fontes adire remotos. Some of the Fathers, or rather parts of the Fathers, you must of course read, but this will all aid towards your great object. I should think this little essay would be of great use to yourself towards nerving you for that design; I hope it, and indeed the whole undertaking, will be of use to the Church as well as to individuals in it, by showing that she is awake. Oh for the conclusion of the Cata–logue and the time when my hands will be free! But all in God's good time.
I have no time for more. I may regard myself now as quite well, although my chest is still not strong. I hope, however, to be back at the beginning of next term, and to give at least one course of lectures (doctors approving).
With Maria's kind regards,
Your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
At this period Pusey became interested in an academical contest which was not without important bearings on his future work and life through the relations into which it brought him with one mind of exceptional distinction. A Professorship of Sanscrit in the University had just been founded under the will of Colonel Boden. The motive of this foundation, as stated in Colonel Boden's will, was the
'opinion that a more general and critical knowledge of the Sanscrit language will be a means of enabling his countrymen to proceed in the conversion of the natives of India to the Christian religion, by dissem–inating a knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures amongst them, more effectually than all other means whatsoever.'
The Professor was to hold his Chair for life, on five con–ditions, one of which was that he might 'not hold or teach doctrines contrary to those of the Church of England.'
The establishment of such a Chair excited much interest, not merely in the world of literature and scholarship, but also, and especially, among those who had at heart the cause of Christian missions and the extension of the Church of Christ. Two candidates appeared in the field, Mr. Horace Hayman Wilson, and the Rev. Dr. W. H. Mill, lately Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Principal of Bishop's College, Calcutta. Of Dr. Mill it may be said, in Pusey's own words at a later date, that he was the greatest theologian, in the true sense of that term, which the University of Cambridge had produced since Pearson, certainly the greatest in the present century. To that metaphysical basis and form of thought which is the raw material of theology, Dr. Mill joined a scholarship as wide in its range as 'it was accurate in its details. As yet his real titles to respect had only been recognized by a limited circle; but the creation of the Chair of Sanscrit at once suggested a man who combined, as few others could combine them, philological accomplishments with the religious character and interests contemplated by the founder. Dr. Mill's candidature was earnestly supported by Newman, Keble, and Pusey, who are thus found for the first time acting together in a matter of public academical interest, as well as by other Churchmen like Dr. Ogilvie, who were, in later years, often and widely separated from them.
In the event Mr. Wilson was elected by 207 votes as against 200 for Dr. Mill. Pusey and Newman were both, and greatly, disappointed. To Newman it must have appeared a step in that onward march of Liberalism which 'fretted him inwardly'. Pusey refers to it in characteristic terms.
E. B. P. TO REV. R. SALWEY.
April 29, 1832.
Of late I have been especially busy in a matter in which I thought the interests of our faith concerned, the election of Dr. Mill to the Sanscrit professorship. God, however, has ordered it otherwise. And in the practical conviction of His love to His Church and to ourselves, one may gradually cease to know what disappointment is, since all is of His appointment, and therefore wisest and best; and then probably most evidently so when it is contrary to what we, in our ignorance, think wise and good.
Sometimes Pusey would remark on this election, 'Things might have been very different in Oxford if it had pleased God that Mill should be among us.'
Another object which Pusey had at heart at this time, and of which he never quite lost sight throughout his life, was the translation of the Arabic Commentary of Rabbi Tanhum (of Jerusalem) on the Old Testament. Pococke warmly praises Rabbi Tanhum, 'as dexterous an expositor as any among the Jewish doctors', and regrets that his manuscripts had not been printed, and were so little known in the seventeenth century'. Pusey thought that the Asiatic Translation Society would be willing to make a work so recommended accessible to the English. reader, and he applied to Mr. Houghton, the secretary, offering to undertake the translation and to edit the Arabic text. The reply has not been found: the Society was probably too heavily weighted by its engagements with Professor Kosegarten and others to undertake any new and costly effort in Arabic. Some years afterwards, when the Arabic Catalogue was finished, Pusey began a translation of Tanhum on the Minor Prophets. Referring to this, quite at the close of his life, he observed
'There is only one MS. of Rabbi Tanhum's Commentary of the Minor Prophets in Europe, and that is in the Bodleian. I took to the work of translating Tanhum dutifully, because Pococke praised him so much. But after transcribing a great deal I found that he constantly referred to something else that he had written on the historical books. Then I began transcribing his Commentary on these books until I discovered that his philosophy was Maimonides and his philology Abul Walid. So, thinking that it would do no good to the young men to find that histories took place in vision, I gave up the work.'
The idea of founding scholarships to encourage the study of Hebrew seems to have occupied Pusey's mind from the earliest days of his professorial life. From the first, too, it is plain, he wished to promote a knowledge of the sacred language, not only or chiefly as a department of philological science, but as the handmaid of theology. In the words of an original draft of the regulations for the proposed scholarships, it is stated that the primary object of founding them is 'to promote such a knowledge of Hebrew as may be most beneficial to sound theology, and thereby to the Church.' With this object the sum of £3000 was set apart, and Pusey hoped that the first scholar might be elected in Michaelmas Term, 1831.
But the plan was delayed until the foundation of some other Hebrew Scholarships under the will of Mrs. Kennicott was completed. Although welcomed by Pusey, this arrangement did not satisfy his ideal, and he therefore hastened to complete his own scheme. In conjunction with his brother, Philip Pusey, and the Rev. Edward Ellerton, D.D., Fellow of Magdalen College, he invested a sum of money in an estate in the parishes of Grandborough and Willoughby in the county of Warwick, which yielded a rent of £100 a year. Of this sum the destination was more defined and more comprehensive than that of the Kennicott benefaction. The scholar must be resident: he must study the cognate languages as well as Hebrew; but it is especially stated that
'besides an accurate and critical acquaintance with the original Scrip–tures of the Old Testament, the application of the knowledge of Hebrew to the illustration of the New, or to that of any portion of theology, lies within the contemplation of the founders.'
It is in accordance with this wider aim that the Regius Professor of Divinity, as well as the Lord Almoner's Reader in Arabic, are named electors for the scholarships. This new foundation was accepted by Convocation on March 22, 1832.
While occupied in his efforts on behalf of Dr. Mill, Pusey was also engaged in a very different and much more popular method of defending the interests of the faith. The Rotunda in the Blackfriars Road, Southwark, had been for some time devoted to the propagation of infi–delity, and among the lecturers was a clergyman who had renounced Christianity, and after professing repentance had relapsed, and was surpassing his previous efforts against Christianity. His infidelity was of the coarser type which would have few attractions for persons of education. But he had written a diatribe against the historical worth of the inspired account of our Lord's miraculous Birth, which seems to have attracted a certain measure of attention. Apparently at the suggestion of his brother, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge applied to Pusey in July, 1831, to prepare an answer to this and other productions of a like description. Neither Pusey's habits of mind, experience, or style were such as to fit him for the duties of a popular writer against coarse unbelief; yet he had no hesitation about applying himself to a task which seemed to come to him as a duty. Writing to his brother William, he justifies himself for undertaking this unsuitable task:--
'The subject is one to which from the unhappy state of a friend's mind I gave much attention some years ago, and which, in conse–quence, I imagine that I could treat with less consumption of time and less violence to my feelings, which were harassed by it of old, than others.'
He adds, however:--
'These Rotunda proceedings are very depressing, and it is a great sacrifice to meddle with them. Happy those who have only to cultivate the Lord's vineyard, instead of repairing the hedge which the wild boar out of the wood has broken down.'
Pusey appears to have written four letters, addressed to readers of 'The Devil's Pulpit,' and signed 'A Christian.' Of these one at least was printed, but the Society seems to have thought them too long and also 'heavy,' and in fact but ill adapted for popular readers. Indeed, the writer himself was as conscious as anybody that such a criticism would be natural. 'I have looked over the first letter,' he writes to his brother, 'and am rather agreeably surprised; it is clearer and less dull than I expected.' From the fragments which remain in manuscript it would seem that Pusey followed, with patient and conscientious attention, the wildest and crudest explanations of the miracle of the Nativity, treating his opponents, as always, with seriousness and respect, thinking nothing too unimportant or too absurd to be noticed, and taking little or no account of method or style while engaged in this absorbing effort. Pusey thought of printing the letters independently; he would not have the Society pressed to accept anything against the judgment of its literary advisers. In the event nothing would seem to have come of the effort, and, excepting some unimportant fragments, the manu–script has been lost.
During the Long Vacation of 1832 Pusey had plenty of work on hand. The British Association had held its first meeting in Oxford during the month of June, and on the 21st the honorary degree of D.C.L. was bestowed on four of its distinguished members, Brewster, Faraday, Brown, and Dalton. Keble, who was now Professor of Poetry, was angry at the 'temper and tone of the Oxford doctors'; they had 'truckled sadly to the spirit of the times' in receiving 'the hodge podge of philosophers' as they did. Dr. L. Carpenter had assured Dr. Macbride that 'the University had prolonged her existence for a hundred years by the kind reception he and his fellows had received.' 'Hawkins,' wrote Keble, 'goes about, I am told, congratulating the University on the extreme advan–tage of having obtained the good word of' the men of science. At the same time Keble was actively engaged in getting up a testimonial to the Duke of Wellington; it was to be 'an encouragement to loyalty at a time when it seems to be at a sad discount,' as well as a tribute of admiration to the greatest of English soldiers. In this project Newman and Pusey also were warmly interested.
About the same time also Pusey preached a sermon which, as being the first that found its way into print, deserves more than a passing notice. The occasion was the consecration of a small church at Grove, a poor hamlet of Wantage. As Vicar of the neighbouring parish of Denchworth, Mr. Cotton was much interested in this effort to make spiritual provision for a neglected neighbourhood. 'Cotton,' Pusey wrote to Newman, 'was about to apply to you [to preach], and only seized upon me because I was present, and therefore could less elude his grasp.
Pusey's preparation for this sermon is very characteristic. If he had been getting ready for the University pulpit, he could scarcely have taken greater pains.
'If I am to preach,' he writes to Newman, more than a month before the day of consecration, I should like you to tell me what you think a consecration sermon, which is also a collecting sermon, ought to be. It is to be preached on a week-day, and the audience will, I suppose, in great measure be rich neighbours. I had thought of spicing my sermon with some Christian or Jewish antiquities about churches; and should then be much obliged to you to send me the Oriel Bingham, if allowable, Vitringa, Buxtorf " de Synagog‰ Vetere," or any other book which might contain any illustrations of the early interest of Christians about churches, &c. I should be also much obliged to you to send me the first three volumes of Neander's " Kirchengeschichte" (in my study, division nearest to the passage door, third or fourth shelf), his " Gelegenheitsschriften" (a small, thin volume, ibid.), and Calvin (further partition, ibid.) on the Minor Prophets.'
In Mrs. Pusey's diary for August 14th the following entry occurs: 'Grove Church consecrated by the Bishop of Sarum . E. preached " an eloquent and impressive discourse.ä'
The subject of the sermon is the prophecy of Haggai respecting the glory of the Second Temple. It touches with deep sincerity upon most or all of the topics which would have occurred to the preacher in after years; but he has not yet attained to the peculiar intensity which became the secret of his power. The most striking and charac–teristic passages are those on the indwelling of Christ in Christians, and on the cholera, which had just broken out in Oxford. In connexion with the former topic, he does not mention the sacraments; and he employs the untheo–logical expression 'Our Saviour's Human Person,' in a manner which his growing dread of an unconscious Nes–torianism among the clergy would have assuredly forbidden in the latter part of his life.
Bishop Burgess, the consecrating prelate, expressed the wish, 'not,' he said, 'as a matter of form,' that the sermon should be printed: and the Bishop's desire was supported by other requests. Pusey hesitated, and wrote to ask Newman's advice on the matter.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Christ Church, Aug., 1832.
The sermon which I preached for you at Grove met with the fate that it would have been more entitled to had you preached it: it extracted £7 and was 'ordered to be printed.'·
Now to myself the sermon appears infinitely less calculated to be printed than even the former one; because it is more in the form of a sermon than the other; and there is no one subject discussed in it, as I was obliged to make it very popular, it being partly a charity sermon, partly for the poor inhabitants of Grove.
How far might this sort of incidental protest against the sad neglect of our heathen countrymen in our great towns or our villages, or the greater publicity given to the success with which the exertions have in this case been blessed, be likely to produce other similar [exertions]?
To solve this I send you my sermon; but I must insist that you will not even look at it, if you are hurried still with your work or need repose. Should you advise this to be printed (which I think you will not), what should you do with regard to the other?... Be assured that you will act most kindly to me by consulting your own comfort.
Your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
I was truly glad to hear from Mrs. Newman that you were much better. I am to preach (God willing) on Oct. 14 in Ch. Ch.
Newman advised him to do as the Bishop wished; and accordingly the sermon was printed, with a long note on national chastisements--a subject which greatly occupied the minds of the early Tractarians--added to it.
Pusey returned to Oxford to preach on October 14th before a more critical audience his first University sermon. It was preached at Christ Church, from the pulpit which a later utterance of the same preacher has made historical. The pulpit then stood outside the choir-screen, opposite the seats of the Vice-Chancellor and proctors. In fact the whole arrangement of the interior of the Cathedral is now entirely different. His text was Psalm xiv. 6, 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever'; and the object of the preacher was to show that the exclusive reference of the Psalm is to our Lord Jesus Christ. By this means Pusey avoided the difficulties of a 'second sense,' while at the same time he vindicated in the strongest manner the Messianic application of the Psalm.
Such language is noticeable in regard to the history of his religious thought. When he first went to Germany, he had seen difficulties in the application of some of the Psalms to our Saviour, and of this in particular among others. Now he could not admit that it applied to any one else.
'Its sublimity, the solemnity of its opening, the majesty of its descriptions, and the greatness of its promises alike proclaim that a greater than Solomon, and He alone, is here.'
Immediately after preaching it, Pusey seems to have sent this, as he had already sent the sermon which he preached at Grove, to Whately, who returned it, annotated in pencil with characteristic criticisms. 'Why should the higher reference of the Psalm exclude a lower and a primary one?' Pusey's position was that the language of the Psalm itself compelled this exclusion; Whately argued that while the New Testament obliged us to believe that 'Christ is the spiritual subject of the Psalm, Solomon is still the temporal subject,' and that to him alone some of its language is applicable. Pusey had deprecated the attempt to press the reference to our Lord in minute details, as by interpreting the 'vestments of the king' of Christ's human nature, the 'ivory palaces' of the purity of the hearts of believers, the 'daughter of Tyre' of the Syrophoenician woman of the Gospel: such interpretations implied 'weak–ness of faith.' Whately here would read 'superabundance of fancy.' Whately objected to the length of the intro–duction--or, as Bishop Wilberforce would have said, the 'Porch'; it had taken up nine pages out of twenty, which, even if the sermon was to be followed by two others, was disproportionate.
Not many weeks after this Pusey lost his infant daughter, Katherine, on November 7th. She had been christened by Newman at St. Mary's on St. Matthias' Day of the same year.
On the day of her death Pusey wrote as follows:--
Ch. Ch., Wedn. morn. [Nov. 7, 1832].
MY DEAR NEWMAN,
Our dear little one, who, by your ministry, was made a member of Christ's Church, has been removed from all struggle and sin before it knew them. Her departure was sudden, but we have great reason to thank God for His mercies in everything relating to it. She pro–mised fair to have been a meek and quiet spirit here, but she is gone (which since it is so, must be far better) 'her Father's household to adorn.'
We would see you gladly any day after this week, but cannot bear mixed society on Tuesday.
Your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
The reply has been carefully treasured:
MY DEAR PUSEY, Oriel, Nov. 12, .
I trust the retirement of the country has been blessed to you and Mrs. Pusey, as I am sure it has. It only requires to he alone, to receive the comfort which is (so to say) necessarily involved in the pain under which you now suffer. Of course only parents can tell the sorrow of the loss of a child; but all persons can see the comfort contained in it--to know you have given eternal life and happiness to an immortal spirit, and to be released from the responsibility of teaching her right from wrong and from the uncertainties of her final destiny. You have done for her what you could--you have dedicated her to God, and He has taken the offering.
For me, I have had a great privilege in being the means of her dedication. It is our only service which we dare perform with a rejoicing conscience and a secure mind; and in the recollection it becomes doubly precious, and a festival-work, when, as in the case of your dear little one, we have the certainty of our prayers being accepted.
I am going to town to-day, so write this instead of calling.
Ever yours affectionately,
J. H. NEWMAN.
A few days after her death Pusey is able to write at greater length to his brother William:--
We had thought on the first day of those beautiful lines of Keble. He is a very soothing writer, because so calmly, deeply pious. He seems to have realized to a very high degree the piety as of a son to a father, and it is by practically realizing to one's-self (which is very different from acknowledging or even believing) that God is a Father to us, and that we, though at one time disobedient and very unthankful, are sons, that every event of life is set in its real light. A true Christian can be the only real Optimist, for he alone can feel that happen what may, it must be best since it comes from a Father's love, and that not least so, but rather the most so, when the tones of His voice are the most earnest.
The evening before [the funeral] her little face still looked beautifully asleep, as it is. I accompanied it alone to the Cathedral (Maria having given up her own longing wish to do so with me, as I feared for her health).
You recollect Keble's beautiful lines:--
'E'en such a solemn soothing calm
We sometimes see alight,' &c.
They are true. With one or two exceptions, I could not have imagined that such a holy calm would have come over me, that even at that most trying moment one's heart should be so cheered and so stilled, and that one should have been enabled so to follow those elevating but probing words, 'We give Thee hearty thanks that it hath pleased Thee to deliver this our sister,' &c.
We purpose to stay at this dear peaceful place until Monday week, but as I at all events shall go over to lecture on the usual days, I should receive a letter there as soon or sooner than here. God bless you.
With Maria's kindest love,
Your very affectionate brother,
E. B. PUSEY.
Pusey House, Nov. 11 .
On the anniversary of their loss three years afterwards Pusey writes to his wife:--
'It becomes to me more and more a solemn day, for although it is a great mercy of God that she is safe, and is one of Christ's lambs, nay, is with Christ, part of Whose Body she was made, still it is a privilege for those who serve God with the duties of a whole life. Hers, although a happy, blessed lot, does not seem, according to Scripture, the best lot; and then there comes to one's remembrance such texts as, " Art thou come Unto me to call my sins to remembrance and to slay my son?" words so forcible that (the more since they are recorded) I cannot consider [them] simply the woman's own, but intended to teach us. Then the death of David's child, and the blessedness of a long life under the Old Covenant, which could not be meant as simply to end there, without having something corresponding to it under the New, i.e. I do not think that " length of days" would have been so much and so often spoken of as a blessing, and the blessing bestowed by " Wisdom" on the " Fear of God," unless it had been in some real way a blessing beyond the term of earthly existence. The impression has come gradually upon me, and so the more irresistibly, that the loss of our dear Katherine was not merely a trial of my cheerful surrender of her, as I at first thought it, but a chastisement to me.'
At the close of 1832 Pusey completed his 'Remarks on the Prospective and Past Benefits of Cathedral Institu–tions.'
This pamphlet was occasioned by the appearance of a brochure by Robert Eden, Lord Henley, entitled, 'A Plan of Church Reform, with a Letter to the King.' Lord Henley was a barrister, and a Commissioner of Bankruptcy. In 1824 he had married a daughter of Sir Robert Peel. Any writer in Lord Henley's position would have com–manded attention when discussing a matter of public interest. And Church Reform, in all its departments, was just then being discussed in many quarters, and with unpre–cedented eagerness. The first Reform Bill had passed the House of Lords on June 7, 1832. The Reformed Parlia–ment was to meet early in 1833. It was taken for granted that the first effort of a Reformed Parliament must be to reform the Church. Candidates for parliamentary honours were making the crudest proposals on the subject from the hustings. Three days after the passing of the Reform Bill Arnold wrote to Tyler: 'the Church, as it now stands, no human power can save'. Arnold's pamphlet on 'The Principles of Church Reform,' which appeared early in 1833, reflected the widespread panic. 'I wrote that pam–phlet,' he afterwards pleaded,
'in 1833, when most men, myself among the number, had an exaggerated impression of the strength of the movement party, and of the changes which it was likely to effect.'
Cooler heads than Arnold undoubtedly shared his appre–hensions. Writing in October 1832 to Mr. Perceval, who afterwards took a not unimportant part in the early days of the Oxford movement, Keble says:--
'I have been considering, as well as I could, what line it becomes the clergy to take with a view to the possible proceedings of the first revolutionary Parliament, when it assembles. And I have made up my mind that we can hardly be too passive, until some–thing really illegal, and contrary to our oaths and engagements, is pressed on us; such as I conceive it would be were we to admit alterations in the Liturgy or Articles on less authority than that by which they were sanctioned: or to be aiding in any compromise which should transfer corporate property to other people on any pretence of equalization or the like.'
Half a century ago, and indeed at a later period, the cathedrals must have seemed to present the most vulner–able feature in the Church's system. For learning they were doing little; for the spiritual well-being of the people still less. Their daily services were scantily attended; their vast naves were only regarded as galleries of art. Friends and foes alike spoke of them as the chosen homes of dignified leisure, in which poetry and archae–ology, rather than anything directly bearing on the moral and spiritual life of the Church of Christ, were a first consideration.
Lord Henley wrote in a spirit friendly to the Church, but with less knowledge than zeal. His remarks on non-–residence, sinecures, and pluralities would not now be challenged in any quarter; his insistence on the claims of the dense populations in the manufacturing districts was well-timed and not unnecessary. But if there was little room for controversy as to the disease, controversy could not but begin with the projected remedy. Lord Henley proposed the appointment of a board to manage all Epis–copal and Capitular Estates. The objects to be kept in view by this board were strictly defined. The incomes of the Bishops were to be equalized. The staff of each cathedral was 'to consist of a Dean or other residentiary, and two Chaplains. In this way a saving of £250,000 a year, would be effected. This surplus was to be applied to the increase of the endowments of Chapter benefices, and of other livings in cathedral cities, and then to augmenting country livings, building residences, and building and endowing churches and chapels in poor and populous districts. New bishoprics were to be established at Windsor and Southwell, and pensions were to be pro–vided for aged clergymen. The Bishops were no longer to sit in the House of Lords, and Convocation was to be revived.
Lord Henley's proposal was a challenge, and it pro–voked replies from Dr. Burton, the Regius Professor of Divinity, from Mr. Perceval, and others. Pusey concerned himself with Lord Henley's scheme only so far as it related to the redistribution of cathedral endowments. He had intended his criticism to take the form of a public letter to Lord Henley. Newman suggested that he would be more at liberty to express himself with entire freedom if he threw it into the form of a pamphlet. As such it appeared in the early days of 1833.
Pusey meets Lord Henley by the broad assertion that he has overlooked the highest services which have in the past been rendered by the cathedral clergy to the English Church. They have been
'the nurseries of most of our chief divines, who were the glory of our English name: in them these great men consolidated the strength which has been so beneficial to the 'Church.'
In support of this statement Pusey produces a long list of writers on divinity connected with Cathedrals, while he notices such distinguished exceptions as Hooker and Barrow, who do in fact only illustrate the rule. Generally speaking the duties of the parochial clergy leave them no time for learned studies, and the circumstances of the day were not such as to enable the Church to dispense with them. In a passage of profound foresight, but which at the time may well have read as the language of a timid alarmist, Pusey observes that
'our next contest will be, in all probability, with a half-learned infidelity. We have done, we may hope, with the dreams and fictions of the Dupuis and Volneys--there is in England too much sound common judgement for these to make any lodgement. We shall not suffer much, probably, from the shallowness of French, or from the speculations of the unsound part of German metaphysics: the one is too commonplace for us, and we are too much bent upon physical science and matters of sense to employ ourselves on the other. But the struggle will probably be with shallow views of the older Dispensa–tion, shallow conceptions and criticisms of Divine truths, superficial carpings at the details of revelation, an arbitrary selection of such portion of its doctrines as may best admit of being transmuted into some corresponding doctrine of Deistical belief.'
It was not a sufficient answer to say that the need would be met by the Universities. They were chiefly and neces–sarily employed 'in providing a Christian and enlightened education for the whole community,' and, as a consequence, 'the theology of our country has ceased for the most part to be the immediate produce of our Universities, nor can it to any great extent again become so.' The Universities had contributed to theology names as great as any of which Germany could boast, and Pusey suggests that their slender staff of professors might be strengthened by setting apart two canonries of Christ Church to endow chairs of Ecclesiastical History and Practical Theology, a sugges–tion which became the basis of legislation seven years afterwards. But if Cathedrals were to meet the Church's needs, appointments to them must be made on different principles from those which had guided the advisers of the Crown in the earlier years of' the House of Brunswick. Pusey quotes the stern and well-known language of Bishop Warburton and Bishop Newton, and exclaims that
'the time past has been long enough to degrade the service of God, and make offices appointed for His honour subservient only to the momentary and often selfish strife of worldly politics.'
When insisting upon the services of Cathedrals in the past history of the Church, Pusey engages in a review of the strength and deficiencies of English theology. After quoting a striking passage from Chalmers, he describes English theology as 'a theology richer and more solid than that of any other Church.' He notices, and to a certain extent admits, the criticism that it was deficient in large and systematic works on Dogmatic Theology, Biblical Interpretation, Christian Ethics, and Ecclesias–tical History. But, he observes, the fundamental pecu–liarity of our English theology is its 'occasional' character. After observing that it is difficult to 'name any one great work for whose production some ground in the circum–stances of the Church cannot be assigned,' he adds:--
'It is well that it should be so, for this practical and Catholic spirit, in that it subdues the feeling of self, and exalts that of a great and solemn responsibility to our fellow-Christians and to God, affords the best guarantee that the works so conceived shall serve no temporary interest or perishable ends, shall not be defiled by human passions or prejudices, but, having God and God's glory for their end and aim, shal1 have also for their aim that truth which is to be found in God only. The works originating in this spirit, though suggested by some special occasion, yet are written for all times, and are a blessing for all ages; because the spirit which dictated them, and the principles which they impart, will endure for ever.'
When sketching the services which Cathedrals ought to render in the future to the cause of sacred learning, Pusey points to his own experience of the German universities. His judgment about them is now much more balanced and matured than it was when he first wrote on the subject. Their defects consist in a want of sufficient preparatory education before the study of theology is commenced, in the absence of moral guidance, and in an unchecked liberty to migrate from one university to another, from one professor to another, at pleasure. Their treatment of serious subjects was ill-suited to the average student.
'The momentous subjects of inspiration or revelation, the canon of Scripture, the relation of the Old Testament to the New, are presented, with all the array of embarrassments with which human perverseness has invested them, to persons utterly incapable of forming a right judgement upon them, and more likely to pervert than to digest the instruction which the professor communicates.'
Again, the mode in which information was given, namely, by continuous oral delivery, was unsuited to beginners in theology. Their minds were passive; they were only languidly aware, if at all aware, of the real difficulties of the subject.
Another bad result of the German system of exclusively oral teaching, which allows no time for reading and re–flection, is very forcibly stated as 'a character of slavish imitation' which this system tends generally to produce.
'There is probably no people among whom the mighty dead are so soon forgotten, or the great names of the present day so unduly exalted, as in Germany, and this because the knowledge of the mass of each generation is derived for the most part exclusively from living sources.'
The advantages of the German system, on the other hand, Pusey found in its complete treatment of the field of theological knowledge, and in the living teaching by which the study of standard works ought to be made really fruitful to the student. To the professor, the German division of labour is an advantage, as enabling him to master some one department of theology, instead of contenting himself with a comparatively superficial know–ledge of several. Different minds have different capacities, which may be usefully employed in distinct districts of the vast field of theology. Bishop Bull would not have succeeded in writing the 'Analogy of Religion'; and neither Bull nor Butler would have done the work of Pococke for Hebrew literature.
Germany, then, in Pusey's opinion, furnished the model of a practical system of instruction, the application of which to Cathedral institutions would make the latter useful to the Church. If Cathedrals were to survive, he felt that they must be centres of learning and of clerical education. This idea was not a new one: Cranmer had pro–posed it, but to no purpose, at the period of the Reforma–tion. Pusey contents himself with simply throwing out his suggestion for connecting clerical teaching with Cathedrals. He was afraid, if he said more, of invading the province of those 'who have spiritual authority in the Church.' He purposely leaves undecided such questions as the number of teachers, the duration of teaching, and the size of the proposed colleges; questions which were, as a matter of fact, pretty sure to settle themselves. But he is in favour generally of 'a place which would, as far as possible, pro–vide for the education of the clergy of each diocese within its own precincts,' although he thinks that Peterborough and Bristol may be too small to require a distinct estab–lishment, while other Cathedrals, as St. Paul's, may be, 'from situation, ineligible as places of education.' It was characteristic of Pusey's habit of mind that he was less eager for a dialectical triumph over Lord Henley than to make such use of the controversy as might turn to the permanent advantage of the Church.
The foresight and practical value of this pamphlet have been often recognized; but it contains, here and there, opinions which the author saw reason to modify or recall in later life. For example, he condemns the proposal
'that the general education of the undergraduate members of the University should close at the end of the second year . . . and that the candidates for orders should employ in the exclusive study of divinity the two remaining years of their undergraduate life.'
This proposal was practically adopted by the University when, in the year 1868, the present Final Theological Honour School was established; and in the establishment of that school Pusey took a leading part. But the contradiction is less real than apparent. For some years Pusey was steadily opposed to the project of a Final Theological School, on the ground that it reduced the time which could be devoted to general education; and he only changed his opinion upon becoming convinced that in the new circumstances of the University, when so much time and enthusiasm was devoted to special, and particularly scientific studies, theology would be 'crushed out of Oxford,' unless this practical recognition of its permanent importance was conceded.
There are popular and important aspects of the work of Cathedrals which have happily become prominent of late years, but which are unrecognized in Pusey's pamphlet. He saw in a Cathedral, sometimes an additional church in a large town, with a succession of well-appointed ministers who may usefully influence its society; sometimes a church in which Divine worship may be conducted with more at–tention to beauty and order than elsewhere; sometimes an institution in which clerical merit may be appropriately rewarded, and in which, after periods of exhausting labour, its own clergy may find religious refreshment in more tranquil duties, and 'the pure and holy harmony of the choral service.' Of the great duties which a Cathedral owes to the diocese of which it is the mother church, and to the poor, in whose hearts it should find a place as their cherished resort and home, Pusey says nothing. His own Cathedral of Oxford, originally a small monastic church, and now imprisoned within the walls of a college, must remain less capable than others of rendering large service to the spiritual necessities of the people. Such Cathedral experience was not of a character to suggest improvements which would have almost inevitably occurred to him in Bristol or London.
Newman was just about to start for his Mediterranean tour, as the companion of Archdeacon Froude and his son Hurrell, when Pusey sent him the MS. of his pamphlet. It was acknowledged, somewhat hurriedly, from Falmouth, in a letter which led Pusey to change its form, and to make some alterations of inferior moment, such as that of terming Calvin a 'giant' instead of a saint. But the permanent interest of the letter consists in the light which it throws on the existing relations between two minds which were destined afterwards to such intimate and remarkable association with each other.
THE REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Falmouth, December 5, 1832
MY DEAR PUSEY, .
I had hoped to have sent you a line on returning the MS. But difficulties rise with a marvellous fertility when one is going a journey. Indeed I had not time to attend to the MS. itself as I wished. I think your reason for giving all the reasons you can, strong. Certainly a reference book of arguments for things (substantially) as they are is wanted by M.P.'s, &c. I should hope that Peel would be obliged to you--though it is hazardous to speculate about the state of his mind. It would be really a relief to me if I could see grounds for trusting him; and I shall rejoice indeed if I am triumphed over by the event. Indeed, it is altogether a question in my mind whether there are many persons who would feel obliged by having arguments for conservation brought before them; most men rather wish excuses for yielding. Nor can I help feeling for them, even while one must abstractedly blame, for the enemy pushes so hard; their difficulty, if they resisted, would be like keeping some selected point of ground to stand on in the midst of a crowd. But, after all, even if things are so bad, yet it is true, we ought to tell men what is right, that the fault may not lie with us, if they yield where they should resist.
Yet, though you make a sort of digest, yet, if you do this in a precise form, is it consistent with the notion of addressing a letter to Lord H.? and anyhow, you should develop (as you intend) one or two arguments more than the rest. The part you read me seems to me, on second thoughts, too far from the subject for a letter, i.e. the remarks about our real ignorance in spite of our conceit, Pascal, &c. Is it not of the nature of an impertinence to dissert and digress in a letter? Would it answer your purpose to call it 'Suggestions occasioned by 'Lord H.'s pamphlet on the real object and use of our Cathedral [Chapter] Institutions'? This would set you far more free, and you could be as civil to Lord H. as you chose still. I am still of opinion that the great evil of our want of theological knowledge is its resulting in differences of opinion. Men may say what they will about going by Scripture, not tradition; but nature is stronger than systems. The piety and services of the Primitive Christians add to their authority an influence which is practically irresistible with those, i.e., who are trained in right feelings and habits. And I think this was intended by the Author of all truth: and none but Primitive Christianity can bring this about; for other ages, if they have the high spirit yet have not (of course) the authority of the first age. As to Scripture being practically sufficient for making the Christian, it seems to me a mere dream--nor do I find it anywhere said so in Scripture--nor can I infer logically that what is confessedly the sole oracle of doctrine is therefore also of practice and discipline.
There are some expressions in your MS. I do not like, but I would not (if you would) have you alter them, as I rather think they arise from our seeing the truth (as I hope) from somewhat different sides of it, e.g. your use of the word Catholic; still, I do not think it a difference of words, I say--so let it pass. Nor should I, in my own views, praise Calvin so highly: i.e. I have nothing to do with him as an individual or as God's responsible creature, but as a member of Christ's militant Church, which is a type (not a coincidence with) of the true one, though at the same time an instrument towards, and a probable sign (not a criterion [tekhrion]) of it; and, taking things as they are given us, I see in Calvin not a Saint but a Schismatic--a man who at best is in human judgement but excusable, and who, if a Saint, yet is not displayed to us (as many men may not be who are) as such--and I see a man wanting in practical humility, the primary grace. But I say all this, not wishing even you should alter it, because I suspect you say what you mean to say--and why should not you?
Even if you give a digest of arguments, avoid all appearance of attempting it. Should you not even avoid 1, 2, 3, &c.? for people are sure to number the arguments, if they want them; and to those who do not, all the arguments, i.e. a system, is needless, but some only. Do not let the 'Edinburgh' take you up as a specimen of Oxford elaborate polemics, &c. 'Here we have an Oxford Professor set forth at the best advantage, a gentleman known, &c.' I almost think it would be better to be rambling, salva dignitate tua et rei perspicuitate, than systematic or didactic.
Nothing more strikes me to say: but I regret I did not ask you to put before me some definite questions to which I was to reply--but perhaps you did, and I have forgotten.
With best and kindest remembrances to Mrs. Pusey, and constant prayers for you,
Ever yours affectionately,
JOHN H. NEWMAN.
Pusey was generally congratulated on the appearance of his pamphlet. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Howley, and the Bishop of Durham, Dr. Maltby, expressed their pleasure at it in warm terms, although without com–mitting themselves to approval in detail. Dr. Ireland, then Dean of Westminster, was not less cordial; and Dr. Chalmers, then still a member of the Established Kirk of Scotland, suggested some corrections, and added:--
'It is my earnest hope and prayer that your masterly demonstration may have effect in preserving the Cathedral property for that wise and high destination which you have so ably pointed out, although I must confess my fears lest every such argument as you employ may well be thrown away on this grossly utilitarian age.'
The pamphlet also met with a favourable reception at the hands of the organs of public opinion. It contributed very largely to discredit Lord Henley's well-intentioned but crude proposals; and its ideas and practical suggestions have passed into the general thought of the Church, to take shape in measures which are often attributed to very different sources. If of late years Theological Colleges have been attached to Cathedrals, and if the study of theology has been promoted at such centres and elsewhere by a division of labour, these results are originally due to Pusey's pamphlet.
A second edition of the pamphlet was published within a few months: and it is a much more complete statement of the author's mind on the subject than its predecessor. As was his wont, Pusey embodied suggestions which were made to him by correspondents during the interval; and while his main positions are unchanged, they are fortified by new illustrations and by expanded arguments which add largely to the value of the book. Among several new and striking passages, not the least remarkable is his account of the religious instruction which at that date was given by Oxford to all her students. In many foreign countries, 'theological instruction was confined' to profes–sional students of divinity. In Oxford, 'every student' was required to obtain some knowledge of the evidences of our holy religion, of the Gospels in the original, and of the history of the Acts and of the older Dispensation, and lastly of the doctrines of our faith, as set forth in our Articles, and proved out of Holy Scripture. Pusey would have had to state his case very differently had he been writing his pamphlet at the present day. Three years and a half after–wards the proposals of the first Cathedral Commission re–called attention to the questions which had been raised by Lord Henley; and Pusey was in correspondence on the subject with Archdeacon Hoare and Mr. Benjamin Harrison. To the latter he writes:--
'Holton, Sept. 13, 1836.
'In looking back to my " Remarks," p. 153 sqq. ed. 2, I was half-surprised to find how much they were directed against this plan, as well as Lord Henley's. I have very little to add to them, for I feel assured that they would be the basis of a very extensive and efficient reform'.
And when writing to the Cathedral Commissioners of 1852, he repeats at length, and with deliberation, the substantial recommendations contained in his pamphlet.
Newman wrote from Rome to express a hope that the pamphlet would see the light; apparently he dreaded lest his own criticisms in his Falmouth letter should have prevented a publication which, as the event proved, showed Pusey's far-sighted appreciation of the needs of the Church at the time. We see in it the first effort, however fragmentary, from Oxford to resist that spirit which it was the whole aim of the Tractarians to oppose. Newman's letter from Rome ·is extremely interesting in itself and is apparently the last communication that passed between the friends before the issue of the earliest numbers of the Oxford 'Tracts for the Times.'