Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
CONTROVERSY WITH REV. H. J. ROSE ON THE THEOLOGY OF GERMANY.
A FEW days before Pusey's ordination as deacon, his book on the 'Theology of Germany' was issued from the press. It was written against one who not many years afterwards worked heartily at his side, and was one of the chief movers in that Church revival so inti–mately associated with Pusey's name. This was the Rev. Hugh James Rose, of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Vicar of Horsham, in Sussex. As Select Preacher, Mr. Rose had in May, 1825, delivered four discourses at Cambridge on 'The State of Protestantism in Germany.' Mr. Rose's reputation as a scholar and theologian, his clear style, and the deep seriousness of purpose which belonged to his high character, combined to give a greater importance to these discourses than University sermons generally possess. Mr. Rose was, moreover, under–stood to be in the confidence of some leading prelates; and thus the discourses were informally invested with an air of authority which, apart from their object and contents, com–manded wide attention. They were, in fact, listened to with great interest. The Vice-Chancellor and other in–fluential persons at Cambridge begged that they might be published; and in the autumn of 1825 the volume appeared with a dedication to Dr. Blomfield, then Bishop of Chester .
The book was certainly calculated to make an impression on English readers. Except among a small band of divines, little or nothing was known in England about religion in Germany. A Bampton lecturer, Mr. Conybeare, had touched on the subject in one of his eight discourses. Bishop Jebb, of Limerick, had devoted a note in his Primary Charge to its consideration. Dr. Pye Smith, a learned and pious Dissenter, had animadverted on the modern German divines in his 'Scripture Testimony to the Messiah.' Ordinary Englishmen supposed the Protestantism of Germany to have remained stationary in the condition in which Luther had left it; and the Middle Ages themselves were not more a blank to the English mind than the three centuries of German religious history which had passed since the Reformation. The great struggle with Napoleon had brought England into relations of peculiar intimacy with Prussia; and the continent had been open to Englishmen for ten years since the Peace. German politics and German editions of the classics were welcomed in England; but the history, the results, the temper, and the tendencies of Ger–man Protestant theology were as little understood as though they had belonged to another and a distant continent, far beyond the pale of Christendom and civilization.
Mr. Rose undertook to lift the veil. According to his representation the Protestant Church of Germany was 'the mere shadow of a name.' It was the scene of 'an abdica–tion of Christianity'; and this 'abdication' was not confined either to the Lutheran or to the Calvinistic sections of that body. A virtual negation of that which had hitherto been understood to be Christianity was taught by divines from the pulpit, and by professors from the chair of theology; and a growing religious indifference in all ranks and degrees of the nation was the natural result. Rose brought forward a mass of evidence to show that by many theologians in Ger–many the New Testament was held to contain, not eternal truths, but only the opinions of Christ and the Apostles, adapted to the age in which they lived. Christ Himself, it was said, neither intended, nor was able, to teach a system that would endure; although incidentally He might teach something enduring. His teaching was said to be addressed to the Jews alone, and to be only a product of Jewish philo–sophy. He Himself erred; and His Apostles spread and added to His errors. It was a mistake to accept a doctrine on the authority of Scripture. Reason alone could decide whether a doctrine was Divine. The truths of natural religion were the only substantial facts of Christianity; but since Christianity did comprise these truths, men might continue to use the old language by speaking of it as a revelation, and as Divine, on the broad ground that all that is true and good in any system comes from God.
Mr. Rose had facts enough to fall back upon; but he was not mainly concerned with the condition of German Protes–tantism. He was thinking not of Germany but of England. The danger of intellectual infection was not a remote one, and the question which interested Mr. Rose even more than the devastations of Rationalism was the cause--if any could be assigned--for its prevalence. How had the country and Church of Luther come to repudiate so largely the very substance and heart of the Christian Creed?
To this question Mr. Rose had a simple answer. It was 'the absence of control.' By control he meant a check upon insurrectionary thought, such as is exerted by sub–scription to Confessions of Faith, by the use of a settled form of public worship, and by the guidance and discipline of ecclesiastical superiors. In the German Protestant Churches this control either did not exist at all or it was practically useless. The old Lutheran Confessions of Faith-- too numerous and too crude for symbolical purposes--were now subscribed only 'so far as they agree with Scripture' and such an appended condition of course enabled. each subscriber to repudiate so much of the Declaration as in his judgment, whether well or ill informed, did not satisfy it--that is to say, in many cases, to subscribe scarcely any–thing at all. Thus the relation of Church formularies to Scripture was inverted: the Church formulary, which was intended to guide and fix the private interpretation of Scripture, was itself interpreted, or even set aside, by that interpretation. The Reformed ministers made no engage–ment except that of teaching the people according to the Scriptures. Forms of prayer, composed in the sixteenth century, had never been of general obligation or had fallen into disuse; and the constitution of the Lutheran Churches was little capable of restraining the eccentricities of mis–belief or unbelief. And it was openly asserted as one of the highest privileges, or rather as being of the very essence of a Protestant Church, that its opinions should constantly change.
Mr. Rose's book at once attracted attention in Germany. An anonymous translation into German appeared at the Leipzig Spring Book-Fair of 1826, some months before Pusey's second visit to Berlin. This translation was intro–duced by a preface and notes by four other hands denouncing the Church of England, and praising the Rationalists, and, oddly enough, at the same time praising the Wesleyan Methodists, probably as presumed opponents of the Church of England. In October, 1826, while Pusey was reading with Kosegarten at Greifswald, Mr. Rose's book was fiercely attacked in the influential Rationalist organ of Darmstadt, the Allgemeine Kirchenzeitung. Then followed a pamphlet by Bretschneider, who represented moderate Rationalism; after him came a writer who had very recently renounced Rationalism for an imperfect but serious faith, Dr. von Ammon. He, however, was irritated by Mr. Rose's language respecting his own earlier books, and by a description of his Latin as 'barbarous'; and accordingly, although agreeing in the general drift of Mr. Rose's work, he attacked it not less fiercely than did Bretschneider. Lastly, the Allgemeine Repertorium, edited by Dr. Beck--and containing a sort of epitome of all new works--had a passing fling at Mr. Rose. Each of these critics denounced the Church of England by way of retaliation, and, between them, they must have made Mr. Rose's work known to every German divine of the day.
Pusey heard quite enough about it at Berlin, at Greifswald, and at Bonn. He describes the impression it had made in a letter from Bonn to Mr. Newman, in January, 1827:--
'I have heard only one voice in favour of Mr. Rose's book (Schleier–macher's). The rest whom I have seen, of all the different shades of opinion and earnestness, unite in condemning it. The strongest against it are the most Christian. I have not been able to study the history sufficiently to gain what I wished from conversation on it. I hope, however, from a manuscript of Tholuck's on the unbelief of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to obtain hints which I may com–pare with the views of other men. In its German translation Rose's book is doing, I am told, a good deal of harm--as " a narrow, partial, bigoted, shallow work" (I am here only a translator) against Rationalism ever must. In England its effects, though not so important, will stills I fear, be prejudicial, especially from the unbounded praise which persons, knowing nothing of the subject, have thoughtlessly bestowed upon it.... To write another is, however, very different from censuring this. The present and past state of Germany is, particularly for a foreigner, one of extreme difficulty. One able professor, who has made ecclesiastical history his study, told me that he should not think himself qualified to undertake the task.'
In a letter written a month later Pusey gives, in his own language, a summary of the criticisms which were made on the book at Bonn, in the houses of Professors Sack, LŸcke, and Nitzsch:--
'The feeling excited by the translation of Mr. Rose's book is exces–sive among all classes of theologians. It has been, I hear, severely reviewed in two journals and small pamphlets by Winer and Bret–schneider. Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis. I have hopes that something better will soon appear, though the only full refutation would be an historical view, which it is even yet too early to take. It was perhaps impossible, when the inquiry was only a secondary object, to avoid the mistakes which he [Rose] has made. Yet they have rendered his account such as even in the worst times of Germany had no corre–sponding reality.
'The most difficult problem for a foreigner is, when he has ascertained the facts, to know the degree of influence they exerted and the weight to be attached to them. In this Mr. Rose has utterly failed. Besides the absence of connexion in the production of his facts, which you have observed, by which their relative character is entirely missed, and the confusion of dates; he has thrown into one category all the productions and theories of this period, whether they expired as soon as born, or maintained only a brief doubtful and disputed existence, or have altogether ceased after having exerted considerable influence, or still act upon the existing theology. He has, too, classed together theolo–gical and non-theological writers, and considers actuated by the same spirit all who opposed the then existing barren and scholastic orthodoxy, or who ventured to doubt the tenability of any supposed outwork of Christianity.'
Pusey's more intimate friends at Bonn would have been especially irritated by Rose's language about their master--Schleiermacher. But they quarrelled with Rose for virtually misrepresenting German Protestant theology as a whole; while yet they felt that his account contained too much truth to be thrown aside as a caricature. Pusey, they urged, had the opportunities which neither Rose, nor indeed any other Englishman, had at that time enjoyed, of knowing the truth about German Protestantism; and accordingly they pressed him hard to write on the subject. He did not listen very willingly to the suggestion--at least at first. Rose had, he thought, conveyed an impression which was as a whole inaccurate; and yet he was himself' thoroughly dissatisfied with all the criticisms on Rose which had appeared in Germany.
In the summer of 1826, however, he had some thoughts of writing on German theology in reference to Rose's book, and had asked and obtained Tholuck's permission to use for this purpose some notes of his lectures in the autumn of 1825, which a friend had offered to lend him. Tholuck's only stipulation was that his name should not be mentioned. He also asked Professor Sack to 'give his opinion in writing upon the principal points in Mr. Rose's book.' This Sack did in a letter which Pusey translated, and to which he at first proposed to write a mere introduction on 'the historical causes of the revolution in German theology.' In the event, Sack's letter became the introduction, and Pusey's introduc–tion the substantial part of the book.
It does not appear that Pusey actually wrote anything on the subject while he was in Germany, or, indeed, before his residence in Brighton in the winter of 1827--28. On February 12, 1828, he writes:--
'I have begun, a few days ago, a little essay on the causes of the unbelief in Germany, which... I wish to finish and print in the next few weeks. It will not indeed be many pages, but I must read several books for it. It is, however, principally historical, and therefore easy employment. The Psalms are for a time laid aside.'
A few days later he explains how he had come to set about this task:--
'When at Bonn I asked one of the professors to write me a critique on Mr. Rose's book, on " The State of the Protestant Religion in Germany," which on many accounts I disliked. This he has done, but the translation scarcely being of sufficient bulk to obtain a large circulation, I wish to add a little ballast to it. The Professor's critique will show Rose to have misstated facts: my inquiry, if sound, that he has not gone far enough into principles. Professor Sack, that he has misstated the degree of unbelief: my essay, that he has derived it from wrong causes.'
By the time that he had written thirty pages, he com–plained of getting on slowly. He was sufficiently alive to the difficulty of his task.
'An additional cargo of biographies'--he writes on March 11--'arrived lately, which I must look through, in hopes of a little addi–tional information for my essay. They are in bad and consequently very tiresome German.'
The consequences of this arrival appear in a letter of March 16th:--
'My essay has not much chance of being presented in a finished state, as I have got but half through it, and only dipped into my biographies. The subject would be, if rightly treated, of such immense extent that I can scarcely open a book which would not give me new illustrations. And I have scrambled from the Reformation to 1800 in seventy pages.'
Two months were to elapse before the work would be published. It appeared on one of the last days in May, 1828, in the week before Pusey's ordination as deacon. He did not anticipate a favourable reception for his book.
'I have, in fact, been unlike other people in my language as in everything else· I do not expect very merciful handling from reviews. The sentiments scattered up and down [the book] will fare still worse than the style; and I expect to be thought one-third mystic, one-third sceptic, and one-third (which will be thought the worst imputation of all) a Methodist, though I am none of the three.'
In this, his first book, the characteristics of Pusey's later and more matured works are already apparent. That which strikes the reader most of all is the extraordinary industry of the author. Mr. Rose was a divine of ripe years, and of solid learning; but his 'Discourses,' in their earlier form, read like the superficial treatment of a great subject when they are placed side by side with Pusey's 'Theology of Ger–many.' At the age of twenty-seven, amid the pressure of other absorbing studies, and, as our readers know, of the strongest personal and domestic interests and anxieties, not to mention the depressing effects of continued ill health, he had contrived to bring together an amount of research, extending over a period of two centuries and a half, at which his German critics and translators themselves were fairly astonished.
As to the question of fact there is not much difference between Rose and Pusey. Each makes admissions which justify the main features of his opponent's position. Rose, while maintaining that 'the Protestant Church of Germany is the mere shadow of a name,' since it had been guilty, practically, of an 'abdication of Christianity,' yet allows, somewhat inconsistently, that the prevalent Rationalism 'produced very strong and serious disgust,' and that 'some of the sounder theologians certainly maintained the old and orthodox principles with great zeal.' Pusey, while insisting that the German people has on the whole remained true and attached to the faith of their fathers,' admits, as a fact, the 'unbelief' of 'a large portion of its speculating minds,' although, in his sanguine manner, he describes this unbelief as only 'temporary.' Pusey had left the question of fact to Professor Sack. Sack, while complaining of Rose for confusing the language of German philosophers with that of German theologians, and for not noticing sufficiently 'the counterworkings by which the further progress of unbelief was, even in the worst and most perplexed times, opposed and checked,' yet admits his 'feeling of pain' that 'so much evil could be said of the theological authors of any country Which it is impossible to clear away.' He cannot deny that 'the distinctive and specially revolting characteristic of the German Rationalism consists in its having made its appear–ance within the Church, and in the guise of theology.' Mr. Rose could say, without exaggeration, as far as the facts. of the religious situation in Germany were concerned, that 'Mr. Pusey's work bears me out in every material statement which I have made'.
The real differences between Rose and Pusey begin when they proceed to account for the fact as to the existence of which they are substantially agreed. This account was indeed the main purpose of Pusey's book: it is entitled, 'An Historical Enquiry into the Probable Causes of the Rationalist Character of the Theology of Germany,' which he describes as 'lately predominant.' Rose had, as has been stated, explained this predominance of Rationalism by the inadequacy of their confessions, of their forms of prayer, and of their Church organization. Pusey, on the other hand, traced the Rationalism of Germany principally to the Lutheran 'orthodoxism' of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He coined the word 'orthodoxism' to express his meaning that it was not a true and healthy, but a stiff and false orthodoxy which was in question: 'an orthodoxy which clung to the mere letter of a certain sum of credenda' without, or with very little reference to anything further.'. This account of the matter, he used to say, was first suggested to him by the historian Neander.
'I asked Neander,' he said in 1878, 'what he thought was the cause of German Rationalism: he answered, " The dead orthodoxy," which in my first book on Germany I translated into " orthodoxism," by which, I supposed, people would understand that I meant a defect. But they did not; and hence came the reports, I suppose, that I myself was lax in belief.'
The rise of Lutheran 'orthodoxism' Pusey explains by the failure of Lutheranism to complete the Reformation, as originally intended, by Luther. Such a Luther as Pusey then conceived him to be might, he thought, had he only possessed sufficient leisure and control, have produced a Reformed Church in which Rationalism would have had no place; since whatever there was of reason in its demands and efforts would have been anticipated. But Luther was obliged largely to devote his time to practical duties and employments, and his successors did not inherit 'the great views' of their master. They set themselves to 'develop, to the utmost, subordinate but contested points' in Luther's system; and the consequence was seen in 'internal divisions,' which in turn rendered, or were supposed to render, neces–sary new and narrow confessions of faith. Of these confessions the most mischievous, 'because at last almost universally received,' was the 'Formula of Concord,' which in 1580 was practically imposed upon the whole Lutheran Communion, to the prejudice of authoritative works of an earlier and better type, such as the loci theologici of Melanchthon. Thenceforward nothing remained for Lutheran divines 'but to proceed in the groove into which they had been forced to enter; to develop in still greater minute–ness the fixed immutable definitions of the sanctioned form; to offer solutions of its difficulties and to refute its opponents.'
The consequences are traced by Pusey in the various fields of Biblical interpretation, dogmatic and moral theo–logy, ecclesiastical history, practical and pastoral theology. Scripture was treated as little better than a storehouse of loci classici to prove the symbolical books. In Spener's day a man might study theology for six years at a German University without hearing a single exposition of any book of the Bible. Dogmatic theology was hard, technical, and polemical. For the fruitful study of Christian morality there was neither time nor room. The study of Ecclesias–tical history in any serious sense was wellnigh extinct. Catechetical instruction was either degraded to the level of dry polemics, or altogether neglected. The pulpit could indeed claim some few names of sterling merit; but, for the most part, in the words of the historian Shröckh, preaching 'remained a science almost entirely unknown to those who deemed that they most excelled in it.' Sermons were delivered in 'scholastic terminology': they did not lack orthodoxy, but the development of orthodoxy in its influ–ence on Christian practice. They consisted ordinarily. of a 'dry grammatical exposition of Scriptural texts, and a polemical or so-called practical application equally unin–teresting and uninfluential.'
The revolt against this barren and deadening 'ortho–doxism' in the Lutheran body is described by Pusey with glowing sympathy. This resistance began with men of great piety, such as Praetorius and Arndt; it was continued by a 'scientific' theologian, Calixtus, whose ceaseless efforts to promote a better understanding between separated bodies of Christians were treated as the results of indiffer–entism. But it culminated in Spener and the Pietist school of Halle, who continued, although with greater power and wider influence, the earlier work of Arndt. Pietism is described by Pusey as 'a recurrence from human forms and human systems to the pure source of faith in Scripture; a substitution of practical religion for scholastic subtleties and unfruitful speculation.' Pietism, however, in turn degenerated; it lived on as a phraseology when its spirit had departed. Hypocrisy was engendered by the stress laid upon private edifying and Christian conversa–tion; abstinence from worldly amusements became a source of self-deception and of breaches of Christian charity; while knowledge was, in certain quarters, discredited as unspiritual, or at least as not aiding the practical side of Christianity. Pietism was thus on its way to prepare the advent of Rationalism. In addition to this and to the influence of 'orthodoxism,' Pusey regarded as the most directly opera–tive causes of unbelief the spread of the Wolfian philosophy, the moral faults of the age, conspicuously illustrated in Frederick II., and the translations of the works of English Deists, then largely circulated together with inadequate refutations.
When he comes to describe the 'lately predominant Rationalism,' Pusey differs from Rose in two respects. His picture of it is less dark, and his forecast of the religious future of Germany is much more sanguine. Even Semler, 'the most direct founder of the innovating school,' is treated by him with marked tenderness; Semler's errors are re–garded as misapprehensions of principle rather than direct rejections of fundamental doctrines, and as ultimately traceable to 'intellectual defects,' or to 'his sense of the necessities of theology.' If Steinbart had lost 'everything in Christianity peculiarly Christian, and even the more earnest aspirations of the natural man,' yet 'his object was to lead the sceptics of his time to the acceptance of Christianity.' But of course Pusey has nothing to say for writers such as Teller and Spalding, who 'confined themselves to the un–nerving Christianity by substituting commonplace moral notions for its energetic doctrines, declaring them to be of importance only to the theologian, or polemizing against them under the title of the Oriental idioms of the New Testament.'
Not the least interesting part of this division of his work is his account of influences, separate from or opposed to the predominant Rationalism. His admiration of the poet Claudius--whom to the end of his life he was fond of quoting--finds expression in a passage of great warmth and beauty: the German love for Claudius of itself proved that Germany was at heart Christian. Lessing, he insists, in whom fondness for elegant literature and the arts had 'enervated moral earnestness,' yet rendered considerable services to Christianity by restoring the key to the right understanding of the Old Testament; by referring to the Bible as its own best advocate; and by insisting that if Reason finds in Revelation things which it cannot explain, this is an argument in favour of Revelation. For Herder, especially for Herder's later writings, he has less to say, except that 'while everything seems to float in a dim mist, many a hint is discoverable which may be pursued to clearer and enlarged views.' The account of Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Jacobi, in their relations to the older Rationalism, and to Religion, is--even after half a century of comment on their writings--fresh and terse; and it serves as an introduction to the forms of Rationalistic thought which were current in the later years of Pusey's life. Of Hegel, whom he met in .Berlin, and who was still living, he says nothing. Pusey's optimism as to the existing condition of German Protestantism appears in the statement that 'among theologians the only adherents of the strict Rationalistic school of any note were Wegscheider and Röhr.' He anticipates that religion will permanently be a gainer from its rude contact with Rationalism; and concludes with a long quotation from Twesten, which, whatever its failures as an attempted prophecy, is interesting as illustrating Pusey's enthusiasm at the moment, and the aspects of German religious life which Rose had overlooked, and which justified, as he himself thought, his own more hopeful forecast of the theological future of the country.
Apart from his controversy with Mr. Rose, this first of Pusey's books throws an interesting light upon the work–ings of his mind at this period. It contains many features of language if not of thought which he subsequently out–grew or repudiated. His German friends had taught him to speak of 'the scientific spirit,' 'freedom from prejudice,' and 'a new era in theology'; for the time he was un–doubtedly influenced by them in his statements both about the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and about the Creeds, as well as in his unbalanced estimate of some of the leaders in the continental reformation. But his own immediate explanations show that at this date he had not fully con–sidered what his words might imply to others, nor in what sort of system his phrases and judgments would be really at home.
On the other hand, there is much in this book which recalls his later work. Pectus facit theologum. If Pusey uses some theological expressions which he would after–wards have repudiated, he differs markedly from writers to whom such expressions would, be more congenial, by the 'earnest moral and religious interest, which runs through his book. An example of this occurs in his criticism upon Steinbart, who, while endeavouring to 'lead the sceptics of his time to the acceptance of Christianity,' was wanting, Pusey complains, in 'all deeper views of the holiness of God, of the spiritual degeneracy and spiritual capabilities of man, and of the means by which the lost energy may be restored.' Indeed, Pusey's judgments are generally coloured, if not determined, by moral considerations. Michaelis' want of 'deep insight into religion' is explained by his 'intemperate habits and low moral character.' Eichhorn, although an 'original and elegant mind,' loves novelty to the comparative disregard of truth. Herder, as an 'aestheticist,' defends Christianity, on account of its 'loveliness,' rather than as the only way to holiness. The errors of Semler and Ernesti are alike attributed to the 'want of that deeper insight into the nature of religion which a constantly improving personal Christianity alone can give.' On the other hand, he entertains sanguine expectations respecting the religious future of Protestant Germany, on account of the 'deep moral earnestness' of many of those who 'yet remain strangers to the main Christian doctrines.' And he lavishes his warmest spiritual sympathies on Arndt, Andrea, the Pietistic school of Halle, and above all on Spener .
The book was soon translated into German. When LŸcke wrote from Gottingen to congratulate Pusey on his appointment to the Hebrew chair in 1828, he alludes to a translation which he had seen some time before; and Tholuck speaks of this translation at length in a letter of June 3, 1829. The only German translation which the present writer has seen was not published, however, until eight years after the appearance of the original. It is in many respects a new work. Much is omitted which would be familiar to a German reader. Observations which break the continuity of the subject are suppressed; and the method of the 'translation' is undeniably better than that of the original. Some errors, too, are corrected. In their preface the translators observe that the stiff Lutheran orthodoxy which followed upon the Reformation period had often been described before. Pusey's originality con–sisted in the account of the opposition to it from Calixtus, Spener, Semler, and the Rationalists: no previous writer had handled this topic, and especially so much of it as was con–nected with the school of Halle, in so masterly a manner.
Upon receiving a copy of the book Mr. Rose at once wrote an acknowledgment, asking Pusey for information about the practice of subscription in Germany, but adding significantly that there were other points upon which he could not presume to address him in private.
He at once gave notice in the London papers that 'Strictures' on Mr. Pusey would shortly be published. He was, however, interrupted in the task of writing them by severe illness; and his 'Letter to the Bishop of London in Reply to Mr. Pusey's work on the Causes of German Rationalism' did not appear until May, 1829.
For the tone and substance of this letter Pusey could not have been unprepared. The questions about his own orthodoxy which were raised at the time of his appointment to the Chair of Hebrew in the late autumn of 1828 must have shown him pretty plainly the direction which criticism would take. Nor was this all. An American periodical, the Biblical Repertory, among its contents for January, 1828, had published an authorized translation of those notes of Professor Tholuck's lectures, which Pusey had been allowed to use on condition of not alluding to their author. In October Rose in a private letter called Pusey's attention to this seeming plagiarism, offering at the same time to publish by way of explanation any statement which Pusey might send him in reply. Pusey explained what had happened, and pointed out that he had called attention to his obligation, so far as Tholuck permitted him to acknowledge it, in the closing sentence of the preface to his book. At the same time, he maintained that while he was indebted to Tholuck, as indeed to Twesten and others, for facts, the inferences were his own. The main thesis of his work, that the dead Lutheran 'orthodoxism' was the deepest cause of German Rationalism, had been suggested to him by Neander. The whole outline of his book had been completed before he actually received his friend's notes of Tholuck's lectures. He had, in fact, been living in the intellectual atmosphere of which those lectures were a product; and it would have been strange if his book had not presented points of similarity beyond the matter for which he was indebted to Tholuck. Rose did not know Pusey sufficiently to do full credit to his candour even in this later explanation; but in the judgment of a Reviewer who does not conceal his hostility to Pusey's point of view, Pusey had already said enough in his preface to 'place his literary honour and literary gratitude above suspicion.'
Pusey, however, had also to set himself right with Tho–luck. In the spring of 1829 Tholuck was in Rome, where he met Philip Pusey, of whom he saw a great deal. 'He reminds me,' Tholuck playfully writes, 'of many of your peculiarities, which has done me good.' From him Tho–luck had obtained a sight of the 'Theology of Germany.' England, he thought, was to be congratulated on having at last German theology represented to her 'in a liberal yet Christian spirit.' But the book was not, in Tholuck's judgment, without defects; its drift was not apparent at a glance; its statements not sufficiently detailed; it took too much for granted in an ordinary reader and would not pro–duce in him sufficiently vivid impressions. Then Tholuck gently adds that in the general structure, as well as in the details of his book, Pusey had followed his lectures, and proceeds:--
'I confess that I should have wished--and you will excuse a wish so natural in the circumstances--that you had asked my opinion about it. However, I sincerely rejoice if you can hope to have done good in this way. I myself must regard my work as a very imperfect sketch, to elaborate which I should need many years and much reading.'
It drew from Pusey the subjoined reply:--
E. B. P. TO PROFESSOR THOLUCK.
Oxford, April 28, [1829.]
MY DEAR AND VALUED FRIEND,
I cannot say how much I felt the kindness of your letter, which I have just received through my brother: I felt it the more since you must have thought that I had acted wrongly towards you.
It is so long since I asked your permission to employ the notes of your lectures that I am not surprised, though sorry, that you have forgotten it: but perhaps the mention of the circumstances and locality may recall it. It was during the short time when I had the pleasure of reseeing you at Schönhausen in 1826. We left Prediger Weiss's at Schönhausen together, and walked up and down by the trees which edge the road to Berlin. I then asked you several questions on the subject of modern German theology, which made you ask me whether I was going to write upon it. I said that I wished to do so, in conse–quence of Mr. Rose's book, and that some notes from your lectures in October, 1825, had been offered me. You then told me that I was welcome to make any use which I pleased of your lectures, but that you wished me not to name you. This occasioned my mentioning the manuscript without your name in my preface. I sent the book with fuller acknowledgments to you in a note by my friend Jelf at Berlin, not knowing that you were absent at Rome.
I have now been obliged to explain myself more fully in conse–quence of the appearance of your lectures in America with your name. Mr. Rose mentioned the fact to me (for I have not yet seen them myself) and asked an explanation.... I have therefore been obliged to state both what I have borrowed from the notes to your lectures, and what I have not. It has been very unpleasant to me, for I have been obliged to dwell more upon what I do not owe to you, than upon what I do....
I have written this long explanation for fear at a distance you should misconceive anything which I have said or done, and it would extremely pain me to stand less high in your regard than you before kindly allowed me.
This letter more than satisfied Tholuck. He replied that he had forgotten, but could now recall, the conversa–tion at Schönhausen, when he had given Pusey permission to use the notes of his lectures. He had supposed that Pusey's intended work would be written in a much more distant future, as when they discussed it Pusey had formed no plan for its composition. Of Pusey's honourable conduct he needed no assurance. 'I have never,' he wrote, 'for–gotten or doubted your true refinement and delicacy of feeling.' He went on to express his sense of the research which certain parts of his book showed.
In his 'Letter' to Bishop Blomfield, Mr. Rose claims that the assertions in his sermons are borne out by Pusey's admissions. He then replies to Pusey in detail; to Pusey's Preface, to Professor Sack's Letter, and to Pusey's work itself. He reasserts and defends the position taken up in his sermons, and attempts to show at length the inadequacy and historical inaccuracy of Pusey's account of German Rationalism.
But in fact Mr. Rose was even more at issue with what he conceived to be the indirect consequences and general drift of Pusey's work than with its historical statements. He severely criticized Pusey's picture of certain shadowy advantages supposed to have been derived from Rational–istic speculation, and his insistence on these advantages without any due consideration of the immense spiritual loss by which they were accompanied and outweighed. Much also of Pusey's sanguine phraseology adopted from his German friends, as that respecting a 'new era in theology' and the 'blending of belief and science,' was very offensive to Mr. Rose; but the point of which he made the most serious complaint was, as he calls it, 'the method in which Mr. Pusey expresses his conviction of the absurdity of believing in the inspiration of the historical parts of Scrip–ture.' This language, however unintentionally, gravely misrepresented what Pusey really meant to say; but as in later years Pusey abandoned both his original statement and his earlier defence of it, perhaps Rose's instinct was justified, even if his accuracy was at fault.
On many other points Mr. Rose misunderstood Pusey's book; 'he has,' as Pusey said to Tholuck, " misstated every view which he has attacked as mine.' This, however, was not very astonishing. It was to a great extent Pusey's own fault. His style was far from clear; his method wanted system and elaboration; he was at that time, as he afterwards admitted, not by any means invulnerable as a theologian. But still his command of his subject was wider than that of Mr. Rose, and the latter evidently underrated his ability, his knowledge, and his orthodoxy. It was, indeed, very natural that Mr. Rose and his friends should complain of the apparent absence of any good practical object in Pusey's 'Enquiry.' If Mr. Rose's charges against German theology were erroneous, they argued, they might be disproved. Pusey had not done this; he had, in the main, admitted the justice of Mr. Rose's representation. What then was to be gained by giving a somewhat paradoxical account, as it might have seemed, of a deplorable phenomenon, by tracing German rationalism to the stiff and sterile orthodoxy of the Lutheran theology of the seventeenth century? The answer is that Pusey was thinking less of Germany than of England. It seemed to him that it would be immodest in a young man of twenty-eight, not yet in Holy Orders, to say in so many words that the attitude of the English High and dry Churchmen towards spiritual religion, and the attitude of the English Evangelicals towards theological knowledge, were not without peril to the faith; and that the experience of Protestant Germany, in circumstances different yet analogous, might not improbably be repeated at home. Yet this is what he really meant. Allusive writing is open to two objections. Its point is missed by the majority of readers; and the analogies on which it presumes are apt to be precarious or forced. Pusey did not escape reflections on the unpractical nature of an effort which devoted 'the fruits of great erudition and labour to building or propping up a fanciful theory,' which, whether true or not, had, in the mistaken judgment of his critics, no value or importance whatever'
Pusey, of course, sent copies of his book to several Oriel friends, and among them to Keble, Newman, and Blanco White. Of these the last only received it with entire approval. Eighteen years had passed since Blanco White had left for ever the communion of the Church of Rome and his native Spain. He was now a naturalized English–man. The University of Oxford had given him the degree of M.A., and Oriel College had made him a member of its Common-room. He was chiefly connected with Whately; but he was more or less intimate with all the Fellows of Oriel who were in residence. Newman and Pusey were the companions of his walks. In his diary, he writes:--
'Oct. 31st .--Called on Pusey, who walked with me. Pusey, Wilberforce, and Froude came in the evening to learn the order of the R. C. Service of the Breviary.'
His mind had not yet definitely taken that last turn in its chequered career which led in the sequel to his loss of all definitely Christian faith; but it was near doing so. Pusey's book for a moment seemed to arrest him: and he thus gratefully acknowledged it from Tunbridge Wells, where he was in declining health:--
REV. BLANC0 WHITE TO E. B. P.
Tunbridge Wells, June 10, 1828
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I have employed the whole of this day in reading your essay, and feel confident that few days of my life have been employed more profitably. Why should I use the usual language of compliment? You have strengthened my faith, and made me pray more earnestly for light. How wonderfully well you have described the spirit and the aberrations of the Pietists is more than I can express. The whole work is full of piety, as well as of sound philosophical views. I long to be near you that I may have the opportunity of receiving instruc–tion. Thanks be to God, He has enabled me to seize the citadel without stopping to raze every outwork of the enemy. Else I should often have relapsed into the hopelessness of scepticism. But I have to thank you, as God's instrument in showing to me that I was acting in conformity with the best principles of my nature. You appear to me to have developed my own crude thoughts. You have also checked the growth of some weeds which were breaking out in the long unculti–vated ground of my mind. Indeed, from time to time Divine Provi–dence has placed before me such works as were most fitted to my then state of mind. Yours is among the most eminent of such instances.
Before Mr. Rose's 'Letter' appeared, Keble had, at Pusey's request, criticized his book: he especially commented un–favourably on Pusey's language respecting the inspiration of the historical books of Holy Scripture. Pusey acknow–ledged that he had not expressed his meaning very clearly, and restated his position on this point.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
April 18, 1829.
On 'historical inspiration' I own, that, if taken in its most extensive and rigid sense, I have felt myself obliged to abandon it: that is, if applied to all the minute facts, not immediately connected with religious truth. The promises of our Saviour seemed to me confined to this: in everything then which bore upon this I believe that the Apostles were assisted; in other things in which I do not myself see this reference I should not presume to define what was or what was not the result of inspiration; yet I am prevented from extending it to all by what appear to me in minute collateral points to be historical contradictions. I hope I shall not give you pain by admitting this: it has no effect in diminishing in the least the practical value of Scripture, but seems to me to be the truth and to get rid of theoretical difficulties. In any matter of practice or of doctrine the authority of Scripture is to me as great as to those who hold the most plenary inspiration.
Keble answered this by completing his criticism on the book with some very characteristic observations:--
'April 19, 1829.
'You are so indulgent to my crude criticisms that I will make no scruple of just mentioning one or two doubts which have occurred to me in reading your book....
'I cannot quite reconcile myself to your statement with regard to the authenticity of the Scriptural books, nor can I understand how I can have the same value for the Epistle to the Hebrews (for example) whether I think it inspired or no. Perhaps I am misconstruing the sentence I refer to·
'I much question the wisdom and practical kindness of " collecting doubts as strongly as they can be put" in a published work. The persons first to be considered in all religious publications, I should say, are the unlearned good sort of people: and if the learned have doubts, why should they not correspond among themselves till they find answers, instead of disturbing the devotions as well as the opinions of their quiet neighbours?'
One sentence of Pusey's answer may be quoted:--
[May 5, 1829.]
'Mr. Rose's attack upon me has at length appeared: I am now too much aware of my liability to misconception to think any misconcep–tion wilful, although he has misconceived and misstated me in every instance.'
Pusey was soon hard at work on a reply to Rose, which became the second part of his 'Historical Enquiry into the Causes of German Rationalism.' Of this work the greater part was written during the first two months of the Long Vacation of 1829. Newman's earliest extant letter to Pusey himself on the subject belongs to this period.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Oriel College, Aug. 31, 1829.
·I am glad to hear from your brother that you are humanizing and dulcifying your book, though I do not recollect many very harsh things in it. It has since struck me that you have nowhere entered a protest against an approval of schism. And since the Bishop of London thinks your censure of a rigid traditionary system in a Church casts suspicion on the soundness of your ecclesiastical views, it might be as well to disclaim any opinions favourable to self-willed separation from the Church, and in so doing, I will venture to say, you will be doing as much to the sweetening of your book (especially if you say some sharp things against Dissenters) as by your humanities towards Mr. R--....
Yours ever affectionately,
J. H. NEWMAN.
Although Pusey adopted Newman's hint, his answer does not betray any suspicion of the worldly wisdom or humour of the suggestion with regard to the most probable means of securing the favour of the Bishop of London.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
I have sent the first five chapters of my book (including Inspira–tion and the Fathers) to the press, but not had any of it back. There are some parts which I want you much to see, especially one in which, ˆ propos of Irenaeus, I have made some observations (I believe in your spirit) on the Inspiration of the Church, and, as if justifying Irenaeus, have said that there was nothing harsh in supposing that those who wilfully so separated from the Church excluded themselves from some of the benefits intended by God for us, since some can only, it appears, be thus conveyed; and I have said proof might be brought from the partial manner in which Christianity has generally been embraced by separatist bodies. What think you of this?
The lengthy passage on Inspiration was the subject of much correspondence with Newman, who helped Pusey especially in making a catena of passages from Anglican writers, in addition to the Patristic evidence which Pusey had collected. The Anglican authorities were intended as 'illustrations of the Fathers.' But eventually, by Dr. Hawkins' advice, this elaborately prepared piece of work was altogether omitted: and if the omission deprived Pusey's second volume of a constructive statement of permanent value, it at least prevented a controversy already too intricate from becoming still further involved.
Pusey was evidently much more anxious about the second part of his work than he had been about the first. Besides consulting Keble, Newman, and the Provost of Oriel, he sent the proof-sheets to Dr. Blomfield, the Bishop of London, asking for criticisms and corrections.
The Bishop criticized Pusey's proof-sheets in two letters of great length. Nothing but a sense of the importance of the questions at stake could have led a man, to whom time and strength were so precious, to devote so much attention to a young professor. Pusey's candour and moderation were commended; and the Bishop did not consider himself pledged to all Mr. Rose's opinions. But he could not approve of several features in Pusey's 'Expla–nation.' He objected to the word 'orthodoxism,' as it would be generally understood to imply a 'sarcasm upon those who attach great importance to a right system of belief,' 'a blind and uninquiring orthodoxy.' Pusey's eulogies of 'the earnestness of mind and love for God' which were to be found among German Rationalists were more than charity required, and tended to strengthen the opinion that Rationalistic error did not 'affect the essence of religion.' As to the restraining influence of Episcopacy, Pusey had misstated the question at issue; which was, not whether any one form of Church government could 'prevent a general defection' from Christianity, but whether 'the German Churches' might not have been saved from their recent trials 'if they had been governed according to the platform of Apostolical discipline.' Pusey had said that articles of faith are useful, but not necessary to the exist–ence of a Church. Was Pusey arguing against articles altogether, or against the abuse of them? Pusey had spoken of 'the satisfaction of the Sacrifice of Christ to God's infinite justice' as a 'human system.' 'Infinite justice,' says the Bishop, is an unmeaning expression'; but the doctrine that a perfect satisfaction was made to God by the Death of Christ was the doctrine of the Church of England, and stands on a very different footing from that of imputed righteousness. The Bishop apologized for the freedom of his criticisms; he was anxious that Pusey's 'abilities and learning' should be made 'as serviceable as they ought to be to the cause of our Church.'
Pusey was vexed. He wanted positive assistance, and he saw in the Bishop's letter, from which he had anticipated much, only fault-finding without the suggestion of any cor–rections, and in reply he told the Bishop that he should find it difficult to alter what he had written, specially about articles of faith. The Bishop insists, in his second letter, that considerable alterations are necessary: and repeats with great clearness and force the reasons which make articles of faith absolutely necessary to the teaching office of the Christian Church. In still stronger language does he object to Pusey's statement that 'the reception of every portion of Scripture is no criterion of sound views nor essential to Christianity.' By applying this theory to each part of the Canon, the whole Canon might be proved to be unessential to Christianity. Pusey's explanation as it stood would only make matters worse.'
It is impossible not to feel that, at a later period, Pusey would have admitted the justice of most of Bishop Blom–field's criticisms. As it was, he altered his proofs in several places as the Bishop had suggested. This delayed the appearance of his volume until May. Upon sending the corrected proofs to the Bishop, he received the subjoined acknowledgment
THE BISHOP OF LONDON TO E. B. P.
London, Feb. 1, 1830.
The alterations which you have proposed will in great measure obviate the objections which I made; although I am bound in candour to say that the tone of your explanation will not be altogether satis–factory to me, with reference to the effect which it may produce upon the minds of younger students in theology.
I remain, Rev. Sir, your faithful servant,
C. J. LONDON.
P.5.--I wish there were any prospect of your being able to bring your notions to bear, concerning theological studies in the University, as suggested in p. 136.
The second part of the 'Theology of Germany' appeared in May, 1830: the preface is dated March 30. Of its eleven chapters, the first seven are devoted by the author to a defence of himself against the charges brought against him by Mr. Rose; the last four, partly to an expansion, partly to a slight modification of his earlier account of the history of German Protestant theology. To the charge that he took no account of the absence of Episcopacy as one of the causes of German Rationalism, Pusey virtually pleads guilty. He could 'not see that a different form of Church government would have changed the destinies of the German Church.' The 'utmost which human authority can avail in opposition to unbelief is to repress its outward appearance.' He did not, indeed, doubt that Episcopacy was better adapted than any other form for all the purposes of Church government. He thought 'that a genuine Epis–copal form of government, combined with the Synods, would be a permanent blessing to the German Church.' But he maintained that there was no reason to think that orthodox Lutherans would have dealt wisely with Rationalism, by 'discriminating between human additions and the original truth,' had they 'been invested with Episcopal authority.' Pusey had not quite realized, as Rose had in fact implicitly asserted, that the Episcopate is an organic feature of the Church of Christ, the absence of which could not but be attended by spiritual disorder.
To the charge of having disparaged the English Articles, as well as the German Protestant confessions of faith, Pusey replies that his criticisms, however general in form, were really directed against the 'later German Articles,' particularly the Formula of Concord, and the Articles of Smalcald, and to the exclusion of the Confession of Augsburg, as well as of the English Articles. Some Articles, he held, were absolutely necessary to the well-being of a Church: a mere subscription to Holy Scripture was absolutely nugatory.
Rose's gravest charge, as Pusey himself thought it, turned on the Inspiration of Scripture. Pusey, in his first book, would not allow that historical passages, in which no religious truth was contained, were equally inspired with the rest. Rose had unintentionally substituted the word 'parts' for 'passages'; and then had represented Pusey as implying that a belief in the inspiration of the Gospels was a vulgar error.
Pusey pointed out how Mr. Rose had misinterpreted him, and proceeds to give an account of that theory of inspiration which had prevailed in Germany in the seven–teenth century, and against which he had used the words in question. Luther had regarded inspiration only as a, continued act of revelation of religious truth. Towards the end of the sixteenth century this theory was tacitly abandoned, and replaced by another which extended inspira–tion to every word and thing in Scripture. The Hebrew points were regarded as authentic, because the verbal inspiration could not otherwise be maintained. Syllables were inspired as well as words and facts. It was this exaggerated idea of inspiration which had led to disbelief in inspiration. It had been originally adopted as furnishing a firm controversial ground against Rome; but expediency is not a good reason for tampering with truth. In defence of his own opinion Pusey claims to show that the same principles as his own had been held, as by the Fathers, so by divines such as De Dominis, Warburton, Secker, Lowth, Tillotson, Archdeacon Powell, and, among living divines, Bishop Van Mildert, and Bishop Blomfield himself .
Pusey complains bitterly of having been accused of maintaining the 'monstrous supposition' that 'the scatter–ing doubts as to the truth of religion or the genuineness of Scripture is not an evil, merely because it may call forth a reply.' Mr. Rose had overlooked Pusey's words, that 'where doubts have acquired a general prevalence, it is an unquestionable service to collect these doubts as strongly as they are capable of being put.' Pusey only wished doubts to be recognized that they might be set at rest; he had as little sympathy as Rose himself with any promulgation of them, which either aimed at or even disregarded the un–settlement of the faith of others.
The interest of the latter part of the book is direct and historical rather than polemical and incidental. Nowhere else in our language is there so full an account of the active life of the German Protestant Church in the seventeenth century, of its various studies, and of its religious condition. The illustrations of German preaching and exegesis are especially good; and the accounts of Andrea, Spener, and Reinhard are full of deep and varied interest.
The two books on the theology of Germany represented an effort which would have sufficed for the energies of many divines, although viewed in the light of Pusey's later labours they are insignificant. He never, however, referred to them without regret and self-condemnation. He main–tained, indeed, to the last that his object was, then as always, to explain and justify Revelation, and to oppose unbelief. But at his first contact with German thought he had formed an incorrect estimate of its real bearing. He had been too sanguine as to the efforts of writers like
Tholuck and Neander: he had not been sufficiently alive to the character and extent of the concessions which they had made to the enemies of faith. He had to explain what he had written; to repeat his explanations; to justify his consistency of motive, and his change in theological attitude.
Of the many topics handled in these volumes, the one which was remembered against him, and which gave him most trouble in later years, was his language on the Inspi–ration of Holy Scripture. It led him first of all to publish a retractation in the letters addressed to a friend, and sub–sequently published in the Record of April 5th, 19th, and 26th, 1841. They were written, it will be remembered, within a few weeks after the publication of Tract 90.
E. B. P. TO T. H.
Christ Church, March 27, 1841.
It is shocking even to have to state that I always believed the inspiration and Divine authority of all Holy Scriptures. . . . I never otherwise held Holy Scripture than as given by inspiration of God, nor do I now place antiquity and tradition instead of the Bible. I appeal to primitive antiquity as the expositor of Holy Scripture, not in con–trast with God's Word, which it is to expound, but with the private interpretations of modern individuals.
In the next letter he says: --
'It is shocking to have again to repeat that I never had any notion of vindicating German Neology, which the writer says was the whole object of my work,--that I never denied to any portion of the Bible the character of Holy Scripture; nor did I ever doubt its plenary inspiration.
'A few words on these points. Throughout my first book on German theology I spoke of and implied Rationalism to be a great and de–structive evil. How could I do otherwise? My only difference from Mr. Rose's view was as to its causes, not to its character· So far from being " a disciple of the Neologians," my intimate friends in Germany were those·who have been, under God, the chief instru–ments in restoring a sounder faith. I may have differed again, from Mr. Rose as to the extent of the prevalence of Neology, not as to its destructiveness·
'As the subject has been revived, I am glad of an opportunity of expressing regret of having ever spoken upon the subject [of minute discrepancies in Holy Scripture] at all, and in whatever degree it be thought to disparage my judgement generally that I once held what Luther implies, I willingly submit to it; only the charge should not be extended further than the truth. I ever believed the plenary inspiration of the whole Bible and every sentence in it, as far as any doctrine or practice can be elicited from it. I ever believed the human instruments to have been guided by God's Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit never failed them: only I did not think that while He guided them " into all truth," this guidance extended into such minute details and circumstances as in no way affected the truth. I never needed any other authority or acknowledged any other source of saving truth. I appealed to antiquity as subordinate to Holy Scripture, and superior only to moderns, as the Homilies and the Reformers acknowledge it to be.'
Again and again the echoes of the controversy were heard. In 1854 Professor Vaughan, when criticizing Dr. Pusey's strictures on the influence of Professors in Univer–sities, took occasion to taunt him with his change of opinion since 1828. It may suffice here to quote from Pusey's reply the following striking passage:--
'The most startling and instructive fact was that the reign of Rationalism was not the direct triumph of unbelief, but the result of the decay of belief. The Rationalists, as they existed at last, were the lineal descendants, not of the assailants of Christianity, but of its defenders. Translations of our English Apologists had but aggravated the evil.
'Such was the appalling picture which met me on my first acquaint–ance with German theology, at the age of twenty-five, and which determined my whole subsequent life. I could not but see some things in England which corresponded in their degree to that former condition of Germany. I could not help owning a certain stiffness among some who maintained what I believed to be the truth; one–sidedness in those who corresponded with the Pietists. I saw weak points in our Apologetic writers, and it was alarming to see, as a fact, that they had been arrayed against the infidel writers, and had failed, or had even aggravated the evil. I felt that, as to the Old Testament especially, we were not (in 1825) as yet prepared for the conflict with Rationalism. Neither the strict traditional school of Luther, nor the Pietists, who in their first origin had so remarkably resembled our " Evangelicals," had been able to stand against unbelief. Liberalism had been the child of Pietism. Being only twenty-seven (and as yet a layman) when I wrote my " Enquiry" into the causes of German Rationalism, I did not venture to speak more plainly. I hoped that the picture might speak for itself to the hearts and minds of those whom I wished to see awakened to threatened danger.
'And now, having nearly reached twice that age, although I have since seen, by God's mercy, some things which I did not then see clearly, I still think that the picture which I drew, and the causes which I assigned of German Rationalism, were in the main correct .'
Again, in 1862, he practically gave the same answer to the Rev. A. S. Farrar, now Professor at Durham, who, while writing the preface to his Bampton Lectures, asked Pusey what was his present estimate of the questions which had been debated between himself and Mr. Rose. He went on to say:--
'I very likely expressed myself badly or vaguely, but I never in the least rationalized. I only looked that the end for which God allowed that quenching of faith through Rationalism was that they might throw off the slough of that stiff Lutheranism and contracted Pietism by a fresher, more living faith, the faith of the Creeds.
'But I was dissatisfied with my books, and withdrew from circulation what remained of them. I have scarcely looked at either for thirty years; except that I remember that for the second I used books on the state of Germany scarce even in Germany. I forget both: but long ago retracted something said on inspiration.
'I should be glad, as you say, that you should quote them for facts only....
'I have seen it stated by Rationalizers that I was then rationalizing. The Cambridge Rationalist party took up my book against Rose. I may, as I said, have expressed myself vaguely, inaccurately. But, in God's mercy, none of the unbelief which I studied ever affected me as to any one article of faith. I was ordained soon after the publication of my first book, believing all which I had been taught--the Catholic faith. I write this because you write of my " present standpoint." As far as the Rationalist controversy goes it was the same then. My sympathies were with the restoring school.'
It was natural that the controversies which followed on the publication of 'Essays and Reviews' should recall attention to books, portions of which might apparently be claimed as supporting the school to which Dr. Pusey was so earnestly opposed. He therefore expressed himself to the same effect as in the preceding quotation in a letter to the Rev. George Williams, which was printed in the Guardian of Feb. 4, 1863, and also in the preface to his 'Lectures on Daniel' (second edition, p. xxvi).
To the last, however, he felt anxious as to the untoward influence, as he called it, of these books. In his will, dated Nov. 19, 1875, he desires that 'the two books on the theology of Germany should not be republished.'
The following letters, dated a year before Mr. Rose's death, are the last words on the controversy, so far as it was personal between the two writers; they also illustrate with perfect clearness the position which Pusey had, from the first, intended to take up
REV. H. J. ROSE TO F. B. P.
March 14, 1838.
Most heartily do I wish that we had known each other personally before that German war, and I am sure it would never have taken place. I should have profited by your very far superior knowledge of the subject, and should have done the work of warning the English student more effectually--a work which you would have rejoiced to see done as much as I could. That was the real point of consequence. It was in some degree gained, but not wholly.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. ROSE.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I thank you most truly for your kind words about our 'German war,' which I too have long regretted; and the more, since, though I thought at the time, your blows were the heavier, I (which at the time I did not think) commenced it. It had indeed not taken place, had we known each other then; but I thought you attached an undue weight to things external--I mean, to the authority (as distinct from the inward life) of the Church,--of its Articles and its Liturgy. And myself did not sufficiently realize the blessing attending on our own Church, as distinct from other reformed bodies; nor had observed the Providence which has watched over her; or the way in which (as distinct from any 'binding force') our primitive Liturgy must have supported the faith of many who, in the last century, were probably far from entering into its full meaning, but of themselves would have sunk far lower. I thought again that you laid too much stress on the 'binding force' of Creeds and Articles; and myself did not sufficiently appreciate the inward power of Creeds in moulding the mind, and keeping it from straying. Such, at least, is my impression, though it is now long since I have looked into what we wrote.
But this is past and gone. The most grievous part, as you say, is that the work was but half done; and, what is for me the saddest, that I have been thought (though I protested against it in the second volume) to have been opposed to you, where I felt altogether with you, as to Rationalism itself. I thought we differed about the causes and extent of it, not, for a moment, as to its perniciousness and shallowness; and I feared people in England were verging towards [it] in a way which I thought you did not see. I feared lest cold dry views on the one hand, and especially a decayed Pietism on the other, might find their parallel among us, and bring in Rationalism here also. We ought to have been fighting side by side, instead of with each other; you, against the impugners of Church Discipline, Subscription, Authority, which, in those quiet days in Oxford, I did not even know of; you, upholding Creeds, and I, opposing 'human systems' (as dis–tinct from Creeds, and indeed, as I have since seen more distinctly, opposed to their very hjqov). However, I trust that we were even then friends in heart. (I grieved at the time when I heard of your ill health, which the worry of this controversy must have aggravated.) And, since 'precious are the wounds of a friend,' our mutual blows may have done us each good; and any hastiness, I trust [has] been forgiven by Him Whom we both meant to serve.