FIRST VISIT TO GERMANY -- EICHHORN, THOLUCK,
SCHLEIERMACHER, NEANDER, AND OTHER PROFESSORS--LITERARY PLANS,
'Macte nova virtute, puer : sic itur ad astra.'
Aen. ix. 641.
On June 5, I 825, Edward Pusey left London for Gùttingen.
He had two main objects in going to Germany. His correspondence with his unbelieving 'friend,' and the inquiries into which it had led him, satisfied him that he had to deal with larger questions than he had supposed. These questions, he thought, could he studied most thoroughly at Universities it which faith and a scarcely disguised unbelief had been in conflict for more than a generation.
Less's apologetic work bad been only partly translated into English; and Pusey had found the translated part useful in his correspondence on the question of faith and he wished to be able to read the remainder. This experience further suggested to him that there was much else worth reading in German literature and thus he gradually formed a purpose of making himself acquainted with the language and theological learning of Germany in Germany itself. He began with a German tutor in his Oxford lodgings; and he describes his first efforts, three years afterwards, as follows:--
'I commended with poetry in preference, because I found that I invariably forgot the first words in a complex German prose sentence before I got to the last, which is often the key to the whole...With all my assiduity I do not believe that I read more than one Gospel, six plays (an odd proportion), and a little prose in the first month. But as I have often said, the vessel glides merrily along when the first labour of launching is over.'
Early in the Summer Term of 1825 Je1f pressed him to visit their common friend Luxmoore at St Asaph: and this obliged him to decide upon the project which had been taking shape in his mind, of spending the Long Vacation in Germany. Jelf thereupon abandoned his plan of visiting North Wales, and pressed Parker to visit Oxford in a letter to which Pusey added the following words:--
'I requested Jelf to bring me this letter that I might add a few lines. Butt he has been expressing his admiration of German verbs to me with such prolixity that he has left me no time. I much regret the loss of my visit to Luxmoore, but having already found the want of German [very inconvenient], and expecting to be still more at fault hereafter, and being so advised, I determined to seize the present moment. I half expect to be able to seduce Jelf to join me. Pray let me see you here. Jelf and Newman are talking so incessantly that I can write no more.'
Parker in reply seems to have rallied him on thee mystery and vagueness in which his plans were veiled. Pusey accordingly, within a fortnight of leaving England expresses himself more explicitly:--
'Oxford, May 25, 1825.
'Though generally I plead guilty to the charge of unintelligibility, in the present instance it was owing neither to wilfulness nor carelessness, but to my entire ignorance on all the points on which you accuse me of obscurity. To what part of Germany I am going, whether to Dresden, Leipzig, Halle, Gùttingen, or all of them, I am yet undecided; and it will depend probably on the introductions which I get, and the time I can spare, and the advance I may make in the language. When I go is yet uncertain, thought since I last wrote I have pretty well determined to do as soon as our private lectures with Lloyd are over. My object in going is neither a parÆticular book, nor a particular part of theology; so that I can only state generally that I hope to derive great assistance from the German literature in all the critical and scientific parts of Divinity; and particularly, if I am ever enabled to write anything on the Evidences, there are some of their works, such as the untranslated parts of Less, which I should wish first to study. I hope this is clear.'
But the strongest motive which led to this his first visit to Germany was Dr Lloyd's advice. Pusey told the present writer long afterwards:--
'People were saying that the new German theology was full of interest. At that time only two persons in Oxford were said to know German, although German introductions to the New Testament, if written in Latin, were read. One day Dr. Lloyd said to me, ‹I wish you would learn something about those German critics.Š In the obedient spirit of those times I set myself at once to learn German, and I went to Gùttingen to study at once the language and the theology. My life turned on that hint of Lloyd's.;
When he reached Gùttingen his first step was to place himself under a teacher of the German language, by whom he was advised to attend the lectures of Pott and Eichhorn. 'They both,' said his friend, 'speak very good German In August he wrote to Newman:--
'I have now been here six weeks; read not so much at I wish; attend three lectures a day, for the sake of the German; see what society I can, and hope to he able at the end of the time to understand Germen pretty well.'
Eichhorn was now seventy-three years old. In this very year, 1825, he kept the jubilee of his Doctor's degree. He was one of those giants of learning whose great reputaÆtion as scholars did something to console their country at the beginning of this century for its political insignificance. He was 'one of the glories of the University of Gùttingen.' For fifty years he had worked indefatigably, and in full possession of his health and faculties. During twelve years he had been Professor of the Oriental Languages at Jena; and in 1787 he had been invited by the Hanoverian Government to Gùttingen, where he continued to be Professor of Philosophy until his death. Even for a German professor his productive power was exceptionally great. On the one hand he ranged through the Oriental languages, and the criticism and exegesis of the Old and New Testaments. On the other, his Chair at Gùttingen obliged him to devote himself to the vast fields of modern history and literature. As a young man he wrote a book on the comÆmerce of India in days preceding the Mohammedan conÆquest. Another work followed on the sources of Arabian history, and particularly on the Arab coinage. Then he produced eighteen volumes of a 'Repertory of Biblical and Oriental Literature,' and ten volumes of a 'Universal Library of Biblical Literature,' besides a work on 'Primitive History.' Simultaneously with these he had composed an 'Introduction to the Old Testament', in five volumes; and an 'Introduction to the Apocryphal Books of the Old Testament.'
Nor were the subjects more directly connected with his Chair at Gùttingen forgotten. Besides contributing to 'The history of the Arts and Sciences from the Restoration of Letters to the end of the Eighteenth Century,' he produced a 'History of Literature from its Origin until Modern Time' in twelve volumes, a 'History of the last Three Centuries', portions of a 'Universal History,' and a collecÆtion of his 'Writings and Criticisms.' He was at the same time occupied with the work which is best known in this country, his 'Introduction to the New Testament,' the second edition of which, in five volumes, had just appeared when Pusey arrived at Gùttingen. He was now at the height of his authority, and his academical contemporaries looked on him as a typical sample of University success. But already his health was declining; he died after a short illness on June 27, 1827.
In 1825, Eichhorn was lecturing on the Epistles of St. Paul and the Books of Moses. Pusey attended the latter course. He was struck by Eichhorn's 'total insensibility to the real religious import of the narrative,' although the critical and historical information was often astonishing. 'We shall see,' said a German student, who was also attending the lecture, to Pusey, 'what fun he will make of Balaam's ass when he comes to it .' Yet Eichhhorn certainly meant to be on his guard against the shallow and frivolous scornfulness of vulgar unbelief: nay, he was defending in these very lectures against Gesenius, De Wette, and Wegschider the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch ; he playfully described himself as 'too orthodox' when doing this. Only in him religious interests were entirely subordinate to the supposed interests of literature; the supernatural element was treated not as an objective reality but as representing an ancient and profoundly interesting phase of mind: the religious question 'what after all is true?' would have seemed an impertinent interference with the purely literary and critical question 'what was thought or felt?'
From Eichhorn Pusey learnt the vastness of the world of modern learning and the standard of work which was necessary in order to explore it. When in later yean he would say, 'a German professor would think nothing of doing so and so,' he meant Eichhorn. In 1825 Eichhorn was still 'an oracle' , but he lived long enough to witness a decline of his authority in Germany. Pusey himself however, early formed an independent judgment of his merits. He saw that Eichhorn had suffered by being a pupil of Michaelis, whose conception of the relative value of religion and scholarship is illustrated by his having asked his dying father which of Castelli's LexiÆcons he thought the best. Eichhorn assumed that every phenomenon in Revealed Religion had a human origin. His mind was 'original and elegant, but ill-regulated.' He cared more for novelty than for truth; his theories were numerous ; but they were demolished, one after another, before his eyes. In later life Pusey refers with approbation to him on points where his better judgment was not embarrassed by the seductions of theory, but generally notices him only to reject opinions inconsistent with serious belief in the supernatural character of Revelation.
Eichhorn's influence was only to a certain extent perpetuated in Ewald, the 'eager defender of a master whom he admired', with whom, as a fellow-student and contemporary critic, Pusey had life-long relations. But Eichhorn himself was interested in Pusey, and apparently predicted for him a future which showed that in this case, at any rate, the prophet was not writing history. For in September, 1826, a year after Pusey's visit, Mr. Dwight, an American student of his acquaintance, was a second time at Gùttingen, and he gives Pusey an interesting account of Eichhorn, who had inquired particularly for him, and wished much to see him again. Pusey, he thought, had read enough of German theological literature to see the difference between it and that of England. In short, as he suspected, Pusey had now 'opened his eyes a little,' and 'consequences might be anticipated which it was needless to mention.'
Pusey also attended Pott's lectures on the first three Gospels, with especial reference to the Jewish ideas referred to in the New Testament. David Julius Pott was now sixty-five years old: he had been Professor of Theology at Gùttingen since 1810. He had written a commentary on the Catholic Epistles, and a great many monographs on single passages in Holy Scripture, particularly on St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians. Without denying the supernatural on a priori grounds, he recognized its presence in the Bible very grudgingly; and explained it away, either by the operation of natural causes, or by the analogies of some heathen myth, constantly and without scruple. His lectures, if less able, were not less surprising to Pusey than Eichhorn's. All the miracles of the early part of our Lord's life were explained away. Each miracle, the lecturer said, contained some flaw, which would make it useless for the purpose of producing conviction of the truth of the Gospel in those who denied it. On the other hand, Pott defended at length the literal reality of our Lord's ResurrecÆtion. When Pusey in the following year asked HengstenÆberg what he was to think of Pott, the answer implied complete disbelief as to whether any orthodox teaching could be expected from such a quarter. But Pott was only a sample of the prevalent tone. In all Germany the number of professors who then contended for the truth of the Gospel as a supernatural Revelation warranted by miracle was thought to be seventeen.
Critical Gùttingen did not, in those days, think or speak very respectfully of England or the English Church. There was a current tradition in Gùttingen where Heyne had lived that he attributed the non-reception in England of his theories about Homer to the English Bishops, who apprehended that the principle of these theories might be applied to Holy Scripture. The immediate effect of the atmosphere of the place upon Pusey's mind was an intense desire to work for positive truth.
I can remember,' he said in May, 1873, 'my room in Gùttingen in which I was sitting when the real condition of religions thought in Germany flashed upon me, I said to myself, "This will all come open us in England; and how utterly unprepared for it we are!Š From that time I determined to devote myself more earnestly to the Old Testament, as the field in which Rationalism seemed to he most successful.'
While at Gùttingen, Pusey made friends with Christian Bunsen, who was a Professor of Philosophy, and librarian, and some years younger than Pott. When Pusey had left Gùttingen, Bunsen sent him a book of manuscript notes which a relative of his, F. L. Bunsen, had taken at the lectures of John David Michaelis in 1779'.
Here also Pusey used to attend the Lutheran church, and he often would describe one of his experiences at its services. The preacher of the day was a Rationalist and was engaged in showing--but in language which the educated only would understand--the general untenableness of some portion of the Gospel history. In doing this he had occasion, of course, constantly to mention the Holy Name of Jesus. The church was fall of country-people or simple townsfolk, and each time our Lord's Name was mentioned they bowed their heads reverently; 'eviÆdently making each mention of our Saviour the occasion of an act of devotion to Him.' Of the drift of the sermon to which they were listening they had no idea; to them it was edifying on account of the frequent mention of our Saviour's Name, Pusey would frequently refer to this when 'insisting that God overrules human error so completely as, at times, to make the teachers of error the unintentional servants and friends of truth. He thought that Christian faith was kept alive in parts of Lutheran Germany mainly by the hymns, which happily corrected the prevalent tendencies of the pulpit.
During his visit to Gùttingen, Pusey was principally engaged in studying Less's work on Miracles. He had proÆmised Newman, who was at the time writing his celebrated article on Apollonius of Tyana, to give him an account of Less's work and he redeemed his promise at very great length. Less's book is chiefly valuable as a repertory of facts and thoughts ready to the hand of dearer writers who might follow him. Pusey's analysis of it is painsÆtaking and apparently exhaustive but it is without plan or method, although abounding in interesting reflections of his own. In these is observable his disposition to restrict the range of miracle, even in Scripture while he rejects the miracle of the African confessors who spoke without tongues, and considers the eruption of fire at the Temple of Jerusalem a natural phenomenon. The letter concludes with a reference to the new parish church of St Clement's, Oxford, in building which Newman was at that time greatly interested.
Prom Gùttingen Pusey went on to Berlin. He carried with him introductions which secured for him the high advantage of an acquaintance with Schleiermacher, and the friendship of Dr. G. F. A. Strauss. Berlin, however, had another and a more personal attraction for Pusey. He had made Tholuck's acquaintance in Oxford, in the early part of the year; but the close friendship which united them for long afterwards dates from Pusey's first visit to Berlin.
Augustus Tholuck, the son of a goldsmith at Breslau, was born March 30, 1799. In early life he devoted himÆself to the Oriental languages, and with this object removed to Berlin, where he was kindly assisted by the Prelate von Diez, whose name will be well known to readers of Goethe. In boyhood he had an active repugÆnance to religion: 'at the age of twelve,' he writes, 'I was wont to scoff at Christianity and its truths'. When he left the Gymnasium at Berlin he read a paper on the superiority of Mohammedanism to Christianity. From this condition he was rescued through the influence of the excellent Baron von Kottwitz, a pious Lutheran of advanced years, who was the centre of an Evangelical circle at Berlin. His mental and theological life was more powerfully shaped by Neander. Henceforth, his rich intellectual gifts, his fervid temperament his strenuous will, were consecrated to Christian work; he had a right at the jubilee of his degree of Licentiate, in 1870, to make Zinzendorf's saying his own,--'I have but one enthusiasm; it is He, only He'. Thotuck throughout his mature life was, first of all, a believing practical Christian, and then a theologian. But he was a theologian of such great accomplishments as to be in many other senses highly cultured. He learnt languages with great facility. He could speak, not only the languages of modern Europe with fluency, but also Persian and Arabic. People even compared him in this respect with Cardinal Mezzofanti. He had been an experienced traveller; he had great powers of conversation; and he was welcome everywhere in German society. But he was before all things, as has been said, a man for whom theology was the expression of truths that lay nearest to his heart. His commentaries on the Romans, on St. John, on the Hebrews, on the Sermon on the Mount. and on the Psalms, have long been known to English readers: of his other works, that on Prophecy is perhaps the best, as it certainly was the most prized by Pusey.
When Pusey reached Berlin, Tholuck was an 'extraordinary,' i.e. supplementary professor of theology there. He was appointed six years previously in the place of De Wette. De Wette had been dismissed from his chair by the King for writing a letter of condolence to the mother of C. L. Sand, the murderer of Kotzebue. At the time of this appointment Tholuck was only twenty; and only twenty-six when Pusey first visited Berlin. He had just returned from the visit to England, during which he had met Pusey at Oxford. While in England he had also publicly expressed his distress at the indefinite and negative tendencies of Protestant theology in Germany. These remarks had been reproduced in Berlin, and, as a conseÆquence, he was already an object of great hostility to the Rationalistic party. Tholuck's welcome to Pusey was hearty in the extreme. He was overwhelmed with work that had accumulated during his absence. But he offered to read German authors with Pusey daily, to lend him books, or to be of any possible service to him. He 'was but expressing his gratitude for the kindness he had experienced in EngÆland.' Pusey however valued him not only, or chiefly, for his personal kindness, but for himself. 'With no one,' he used to say, 'were my best hopes for Protestant Germany so bound up as with Tholuck.'
Frederic Ernest Daniel Schleiermacher was in 1825 the most commanding figure in the religious world of Berlin, and indeed in Protestant Germany. Born in 1768, he was now fifty-seven years of age, and at the height of his reputation. His many-sidedness and breadth of culture were remarkable even in the Berlin of sixty years ago. He was distinguished in philosophy, in philology, in general literature, in political science. In philosophy he had close affinities with Fichte, whose system he combined with elements taken from Jacobi and Schelling; he was intellecÆtually indebted to Spinoza. He had translated, with rare success, a large part of Plato and Plato has left his mark not merely in Schleiermacher's philosophy, but on his theology. But he had a freshness and originality that was all his own, and nearly all the more active minds in Germany of his own or a younger generation who were engaged in theology were directly or indirectly influenced by him. It is sufficient to name Twesten, LÙcke, Usteri, Baumgarten-Crusius, Nietzsche, Sack, Auberlen, Dorner, and, in a widely different sense, even Strauss and Baur. His lectures were remarkable for their clearness and precision of statement, lighted up by much brilliant eloquence. His short stature, his long white hair and beard, his keen eyes, his vivacity of manner, added to the general effect of his teaching: he was instinctively viewed as something more than a scientific theologian; men treated him as in some sense a prophet.
Of Schleiermacher's earlier theological works published when he was not more than thirty years of age, his 'Discourse on Religion' and his 'Monologues' are the most noteworthy. His sermons were distinguished by their elegance, their pointedness, their persuasiveness, their lofty moral tone, rather than by their doctrinal consistency. 'Those,' says W. von Humboldt, 'who may have read his numerous writings ever so diligently, but who have never heard him speak, must nevertheless remain unacquainted with the most rare power and the most remarkable qualities of the man His strength lay in the deeply penetrative character of his words. It was the kindling effusion of a feeling which seemed not so much to be enlightened by one of the rarest intellects, as to move side by side with it in perfect unison'. He was not, however, always able to resist the temptation of passionately enforcing some opinion of questionable religious value, which was already popular with his audience. He knew well how to make the most at a great opportunity. During the French occupation of Berlin his sermons were a political force; their vigour and boldness earned for him the character of a devoted patriot. He contributed not a little, by a single sermon, to the victorious campaign against France in 1813. In 1821 he published his most considerable theological work, 'The Christian Faith according to the principles of the Evangelical Church,' which was intended to promote the Royal scheme of fusing the Lutheran and Reformed bodies in Prussia into a single communion.
In 1825, Schleiermacher was lecturing on the Acts of the Apostles; in 1825, when Pusey visited Berlin a second time, on St. Paul's Epistles to the Thessalonians and Galatians and the 'principles of practical theology.' Pusey eagerly attended these lectures and it was the latter course which especially impressed him. Schleiermacher received him very kindly in private; and corresponded with him after his return to England.
Pusey often spoke in later life of his intercourse with Schleiermacher and would describe him as a man of great earnestness and genius, who was feeling his way back from rationalism towards positive truth. Schleiermacher was 'that great man, who, whatever be the errors of his system, has done more than any other (some very few perhaps excepted) for the restoration of religious belief in Germany'. Not that Pusey was mistaken as to the actual amount or kind of belief which Schleiermacher had reached at the time of their intercourse. In the autumn of 1826 Pusey writes to Bishop Lloyd:--
'From Schleiermacher I hear that he intends to publish a commentary on the whole of the Epistles of St. Paul next October. Scholarship and thought may he expected from the translator of Plato; but of Christianity no more than is consistent with Pantheism. His system is very difficult to understand; but in his sermons his view of the Atonement seems the ordinary Socinian one; [his view] of the Divinity of Christ, that the Deity, who is in some measure displayed in every human being, was in a larger measureárevealed in Him.'
But Pusey gradually learnt to distinguish between Schleiermacher's actual belief and the direction in which, upon the whole ,his mind was moving. Even Schleiermacher's mistakes were sometimes allied to the upward tendency of his thought. If he erred in making feeling alone the seat of religion in the soul, he was opposing the narrow academical tendency to treat revealed religion as merely a subject for philosophical discussion, or the Kantian tendency to resolve it into mere morality. Feeling, moreÆover, with Schleiermacher did not mean agitated emotion, but the focus of spiritual life, the central point of thought, affection, and endeavour. The charge of Pantheism to which Schleiermacher's earlier writings are exposed is certainly not without foundation; but the language which may appear to justify it was provoked by his violent recoil from the cold deistic conception of a God who, although personal, is too remote from the world to concern Himself with the attain of men. If in his works on the Epistle to Timothy and the Gospel of St Luke, Schleiermacher takes up purely rationalizing positions which in after years Baur and Strauss knew well how to turn to the account of advanced unbelief, still the bias of his mind in his later years was towards san increased reverence for the Bible. And the unique position which both in his Glaubeslehre and his Discourses he resolutely claims for our Lord, in relation to the history of the world and of the single soul, is utterly incompatible with any but the Catholic Creed respecting His Person and His Work
Since in his estimate of Schleiermacher, Pusey thus dwelt less upon the position which he actually occupied than on the direction in which he was moving, he was indignant when Bretschneider classed Schleiermacher with writers who resolved Christian theology into the philosophy of Schelling or Hegel. The injustice of Bretschneider's view appears from the fact that Schleiermacher, whose philosophical culture was of the highest order, resolutely opposed all mingling of philosophy with theology. This feature of his thought left a permanent impression on Pusey's mind. Unlike Newman in one direction and J. B. Mozley in another, Pusey always distrusted philosophical methods of handling theology; he took refuge in authority, whether that of Scripture or of the Primitive Church. Schleiermacher's theory, which makes religion consist altogether in a feeling of dependence on God--exaggerated though it was--powerfully appealed to elements in Pusey's character; and it is even probable that Pusey owed the beginnings of some prominent features of his devotional life to his intercourse with Schleiermacher. Schleiermacher had begun his theological studies in the Moravian College at Niesky; and although he withdrew from this community on going to Halle, he always referred gratefully to the training in piety for which he was in indebted to it. The Moravian devotion to our Lord's Passion in detail--to His Blood, to His Five Wounds, to Hiss Bloody Sweat, to the piercing of His Side, to the print of the nails--had been bitterly criticized by Bengel during Zinzendorf's lifetime; but it remained an essential feature of the Moravian piety. When Pusey afterwards discovered it in the 'Paradise of the Christian soul,' he was at hone with a devotion which had long ago been at least implicitly recommended to him by Schleiermacher.
As a young man, he was chiefly attracted by the remarkable hook by which Schleiermacher essays to proÆvide for the wants of theological students. It had a 'few great defects' but it was also 'full of important principles and comprehensive views,' and it would, he thought, form 'a new era in theology'. This he explained to mean, not an era in which new truths would be discovered, but in which old truths would be more accurately appreciated. In his later life he used especially to refer to Schleiermacher as the utterer or maxims which it was useful to bear in mind. One such is given in the work already referred to. 'The endeavour to introduce philosophical systems into theology is generally at variance with a correct interpretation of Scripture.' Another, which he had taken down in lecture at Berlin, ran thus: 'Nobody would nowadays care to study the Canon of Scripture, except from dislike of revealed religion, unless he studied it from a love of the truth which it contains.' This maxim Pusey repeated more than once in conversation even in the last year of his life.
At Berlin Pusey also made the acquaintance of the Church historian, Augustus Neander. Neander was in the prime of life--thirty six yeas of age. He was lecturing on 'the Characteristics of the Apostolic Age,' and on an 'Introduction' to the Fathers.
Already this fertile writer had published separate works on the Gnostic systems, on the writings of Tertullian, on the Emperor Julian and his times, on St. Chrysostom, on St. Bernard and his age. More recently he had produced his excellent Memorabilia of the History of Christianity. The first volume of his greatest, but unhappily unfinished, work, the 'General History of the Christian Religion and Church,' was on the eve of its appearance. It was afterward brought to a standstill at the pontificate of Boniface VIII. by the author's failing eyesight. Despite the earnest Christian spirit which breathes throughout it, Neander, as in later years Pusey thought, was governed by some unwarranted assumptions which did much to impair the value of his work. Writing under the influence of that strong recoil from the arid orthodox Lutheranism of the seventeenth century which was so largely shared by many of the best minds of the day, Neander read into the early history of the Church an anticipation of that 'ossification and externalÆization' of Christian faith and life which had actually followed upon the Reformation in Lutheran Germany.
Neander's genuine kindliness, his solid learning, his tender piety, his vivid enthusiasm, made him a general favourite; and Pusey certainly would not have shared his American friend Dwight's objection to a German professor on the score of slovenliness. Writing to Pusey in November, 1841, Neander refers to 'the relations in which you stood to me here, and the Christian communion between us. which, as I trust, cannot be lessened by some theological differences.'
It was during this visit also that Pusey first made the acquaintance of E. W. Hengstenberg, for whom he retained a warm affection throughout life. Hengstenberg was two years younger than Pusey; but as a Licentiate, of twenty-three, he was already lecturing on the Psalms, the Chaldee portions of Daniel, and the history of the Hebrews. Although Pusey came to think that Hengstenberg's judgÆment was at times seriously at fault, even in his great work on the 'Christology of the Old Testament,' he would refer to him, together with Tholuck, as perhaps the most believing of the German minds with which he had come into close contact.
Hengstenberg was from the first on intimate relations with Pusey: he bought and kept books for his English friend after Pusey's first German visit, and acted the part of a friendly correspondent at the headquarters of German literature. On the other hand, a year afterwards, we find Pusey endeavouring. at Hengstenberg's request, to interest Newman in the Evangelical Church Gazette, a periodical of which Hengstenberg had then become editor. And for long years afterwards, whenever an Oxford friend might have returned from Berlin, Pusey's question was, invariably, 'Did you see or hear anything of Hengstenberg?'
At Berlin, too, Pusey fell in with the young American already mentioned, who, like himself, was endeavouring to make acquaintance with the language and literature of Germany. Mr. Dwight was in weak health, and this enlisted Pusey's sympathy; but he was withal active and enterprising, and was interested especially in the religious aspects of German life. In his letters to Pusey he describes the Berlin professors with the unreserve and audacity of a young man, or perhaps, it may be said, of a young American. 'Neander was a sloven.' 'Strauss was a boor--a very good man, but not half so much a gentleman as one of our Indians.' Marheineke was a great puff-ball.' Of Schleiermacher and Tholuck he writes in more respectful terms. Dwight remained in Germany throughout the winter of 1825-26, and told Pusey from time to time what was going on. On the death of ProÆfessor Knappe at Halle, Tholuck was chosen to succeed him; and Dwight describes a ceremony which would have interested Pusey, from its relation to persons with whom he was already acquainted. Writing from Berlin on March 19, 1826, he states that Tholuck
was initiated a few days sinceáSchleiermacher, Tholuck and that great puffball, Marheineke, delivered addresses in Latin. I endeavoured to squeeze in through the crowd, but found it impossible, and can only say that the two former are said to have acquitted themselves in fine style. The latter, I am told, sat like the Pope, as if not only the Church, but the New Jerusalem, was resting on his shoulders. It took one of the students many minutes to let out a small part of the disgust which he felt on seeing and hearing himá
'Tholuck leaves here in a short time for Halle, where he will have an opportunity of measuring swords will Gesenius and Wegsheider'.
Pusey returned to Oxford in the middle of October. At no time had he doubted, in his own phrase, 'what to do with the life which God had given him.' Never had any other idea of the future presented itself to his imagination, as a boy or a young man, as a serious rival to that which was offered by the Sacred Ministry of the Church.
'I have no idea,' he said to a friend in 1878,' how the purpose of taking Holy Orders came into my mind. I know that nothing was said about it at home. But I remember an elder cousin, Arundel Bouverie, afterwards Archdeacon, raising the question of a profession when I was about nine years old. I said to him in the language of a boy, ‹Oh! I shall be a clergymanŠ. He asked' ‹Why?Š I said, ‹Because it is the best thing to do.Š From this I have never swerved.'
Pusey had hoped to be ordained Deacon in December, 1825. The family living of Fawkham in Kent was to have been presented to him at the next vacancy. It became vacant in 1828, and in the following year his friend Mr. Salwey was presented to it by the patron.
'I must of necessity,' he writes, to Mr. Salwey in 1832, 'he much interested in your success with your people, as I once thought the care of them would be the object of my own life.'
Forty years later he wrote to the same correspondent:--
'How changed things have been since those Christ Church days! You have had the lot which had been always my ideal. My life has been passed amidst storms. It matters not, so that the shore is won at last'.
This, which ray be termed the original plan of Pusey's life, was first disturbed by his success at Oriel in April, 1823. During the later months of that year he was reading for the Latin Essay, and his mind was distracted by other work which duty to the college appeared to prescribe. He was indeed constantly thinking of ordination; he attended Dr. Lloyd's lectures by way of preparation for it. But if he still looked forward to clerical life, it was now to clerical life in Oxford, and when in 1824 Newman was ordained Deacon, and became, through Pusey's suggesÆtion, Curate of St Clement's Church, Pusey entered into his work and plans with the utmost interest.
It was even arranged that Pusey, when ordained upon his college title, should join his friend as a second Curate at St. Clement's. But meanwhile Pusey's correspondence with Z, and his project of refuting Dupuis, had given his plans, which were always religious, a new turn. The duty of the hour, if not on his own account, yet for the sake of others, was to make good the claims of Christianity against infidel opponents. The horizon of questions to be answered, of subjects to be explored, was widening too rapidly in Pusey's mind to allow him to prepare as yet for ordination. He read Less, that he might answer Dupuis: he learnt German that he night read the untranslated part of Less: he went to Germany that he might learn the language thoroughly, and might discover how questions could he solved which Less had suggested to hint, but had not answered. He had hoped to present himself for ordination at Christmas, 1825. His German tour had resulted in an important change of plan. Writing to Mr. Salwey in November he observes:--
'You will be surprised to hear that I have come to the resolution, after considerable and sometimes painful deliberation, to delay for some little time my going into Orders. My visit to Germany has opened to me a new line of professional study; and though I know not whether it will be of any use to anyone, yet it seemed to offer a chance which did not appear to be neglected. God grant that it may turn out well. Yet I have sacrificed much immediate comfort and happiness, which acting with Newman in his large parish would have given me--perhaps improvement too. Yet it was incompatible with these pursuits, and I had some hopes that I might he thus more useful: but God only knows.'
He was in fact to wait two years and a half before this great object of his life could be attained.
During the late autumn of 1825 Pusey thus describes his occupations:--
'I sit at present employed in preparing to examine the evidence for the books of the Old Testament, but it requires a good deal of preparation; since I have nearly forgotten the little Hebrew I ever knew. And I have besides Chaldee and Syriac to learn. Do not mention my employments to any one; you see I have abundance to do.'
At the beginning of Lent Term, 1826, Pusey went into rooms in Oriel College. The set which he occupied was on the middle floor in the corner of the college nearest to Canterbury Gate, Christ Church; the bedroom window looked towards Corpus, the sitting-room towards Christ Church. His friends, who anticipated high office in the Church for a man of Pusey's station, character, and industry, used to say jokingly, 'You are looking towards Canterbury.' When telling the story to a friend shortly before his death, he added an expression of deep thankfulness to Almighty God for 'His great goodness in sparing me any such trial as a Bishopric.'
In the first week of Hilary Term, 1826 the University was distracted by a contested election. Mr. Richard Heber bad resigned his seat its Parliament; Mr. T. G. B. Estcourt of Corpus Christi College and Sir C. Wetherell of Magdalen College were candidates for the honour of representing the University. Pusey's political sympathies were Liberal but he cared more for character than for political opinions. This will explain his view of the merits of the candidates and the following letter possesses an interest which is indeÆpendent of its political value. Pusey is writing to Parker, and hopes that the approaching election will at any rate have the effect of bringing him up to Oxford.
'Feb 5, 1826.
'About the result of the election, I own I do not care much. If Mr. Estcourt is elected we shall have a thoroughly respectable country gentleman, of respectable talents also; if Sir C. Wetherell, the University will be justly punished for the slight it has offered to one of the most distinguished statesmen of his day, one who has done much for his country, and unquestionably the first of her own members. You, however, may in heart be one of the delinquents who would have excluded Canning, and therefore think yourself bound to make reparation by excluding a man who shifted his party in the most disgraceful manner from the extreme of Toryism to the most offensive Radicalism, sought the defence of Watson as a source of annoyance, and defended the late Queen, as the tenderest part he could wound; and though he is now Ministerial and anti-Catholic, night, I suppose, become the reverse as soon as it became his interest to do so. I have no inclination, however, to write Phillippics against Sir C. W. The shame which I should feel as a member of the University at his election, would be much mitigated, perhaps have some little enjoyment of νεμεσις, at the result. By revisiting Oxford at this time you might perhaps see many whom you would not otherwise easily meet again, though indeed I should rather suspect the assemblage will not he very great, since it is a negative contest, there being dislike on one side and indifference on the other. Here (at Oriel), however, they are very warm; the provost has been particularly active, partly perhaps because a son of Mr. E., who was here (after you probably), was a great favourite. Peel has said that if the University were to have a country gentleman they could not have a better person. Here you will find staying, of those you know, probably me alone, who am also ultimus merorum. Enough of this. Jelf's appointment is too full of prospects of extensive utility and comfort to himself for me not to feel grateful for it. I need not say that (now that I am at last within college walls) I shall expect, if you come, that you will sleep within my rooms. I know not what your avocations are. The election will he in about ten days probably.'
In-the event Mr. Estcourt was returned as the colleague of Sit Robert Peel. The brief interval of political fever being over, Oxford residents returned to the subjects which generally occupied them.
Oriel, and Pusey in particular, were greatly interested in the fortunes of another member of the society, R. W. Jelf. After an offer to Newman, which has been humorÆously described and discussed by Mr. T. Mozley, Dr. Lloyd had offered to Jelf the post of tutor to Prince George of Cumberland. To Pusey this appointment was at once a satisfaction and a sorrow. He was losing the companionship of his oldest friend. He was overjoyed at the wide prospects of usefulness which were opening before one who was, he believed, so capable of making the most of them. The letter of introduction to his American friend, Mr. H. E. Dwight is couched in the warmest terms of regard for Jelf and appreciation of his high abilities--' I need not say, far superior to my own,' --and concludes with a characteristic postscript, 'It has just occurred to me that I have not told you my friend's name. It is ‹JelfŠ; he is in Orders.'
Pusey's Old Testament studies were for a short time interrupted by a work which he began under the sanction, if not at the suggestion, of Dr. Lloyd, This was a translation of Hug's 'Introduction to the New Testament.' Hug, who was for many years a Theological Professor at the Catholic University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, and who in March 1846, died as Dean of Freiburg Cathedral, was already well known to Europe as one of the acutest critics of the naturalistic school of criticism. His method was severely historical: his quarrel with Paulus and other writers was chiefly on the score of their arbitrariness. The library of Freiburg furnished him with but scanty materials for his projected 'Introduction', so he employed his vacations in the troubled years of 1798-1801 in visitÆing those of Vienna, Munich, and Paris. In 18o8 his 'Introduction' appeared it ran through four editions; and was hailed as a solid contribution to Biblical studies by Protestant as well as Roman Catholic theologians. The book had already been translated into French some six years before; and there were sufficient reasons for putting it into the hands of the English public. Pusey, however, had not made much way in his work when he discovered that he had been anticipated by a Cambridge scholar, Dr. Wait, the Rector of Blagdon in Somersetshire. He explains his abandonment of the task when writing to Dr. Lloyd in June:--
'June 10, 1826
'If you have looked at Rivington's last catalogue you will have seen the untimely end of my translation of Hug. Every employment gains so much on one, by the mere pursuing it, that I abandoned it with some regret; but I found that Dr. Wait had made considerable progress in his translation last October that he is going to publish it with notes; that he has been for years residing at Cambridge for the sake of books which he seldom leaves; that he has the reputation of being a good Arabic scholar, and one of the heat Syriac scholars of the age so that I was glad that I had but just finished the first half-sheet of my translation.'
Dr. Wait had heard that he was not alone in the field, and had hurried on his work at the cost of its completeness. This led Pusey to doubt whether, after all, he ought not to resume his task; a doubt which the appearance of Dr. Wait's work in the summer of 1827 finally set at rest.
In June, 1826, Oriel College celebrated the fifth centenary of is foundation. It may safely be said that on no previous occasion of the kind had the college contained so many names destined to become celebrated. Keble, Newman, and Pusey were all Fellows and were all present. The ample entertainment led Pusey to express a feeling which he entertained throughout life, and which largely coloured his conduct and teaching.
'When I first knew him,' said Cardinal Newman in 1882, 'he used to regret the luxury of Oxford. At the centenary we had a great dinner, and, among other luxuries, turtle soup It made Pusey very angry. I remember his coming to me and bursting out, ‹What is this stuff that they are going to give us?Š'
That was not all.
'In those days French wines, now so common, were considered a great luxury. It was proposed to have French wines at table, besides port and sherry. Pusey and I agreed to oppose the plan; and we carried our point in a Fellow's meeting. But the Provost, Copleston, forthwith said that he should give French wines on his own account. On which Pusey said to me that Oxford seemed incapable of being reformed.'