Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
UNION FOR PRAYER--THE LITTLEMORE 'MONASTERY'--
WHAT IS PUSEYISM ?--THE ORNAMENTS RUBRIC--
PROPOSAL TO PRINT THE SARUM BREVIARY--
RELA–TIONS WITH THE EASTERN CHURCH--FEARS OF
DURING the spring of 1840 there was a good deal of discussion on a subject which powerfully affected the inner life of the Oxford party. This was a proposed union for prayer. The suggestion came originally from the Hon. and Rev. George Augustus Spencer, better known after–wards as the Passionist Father Ignatius, who had passed from an earnest phase of Evangelicalism to the Church of Rome. In January, 1840, Mr. Spencer visited Oxford.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Oriel College, January 9, 1840.
Mr. Spencer, the R. C., has been in Oxford, indeed is now. I declined dining to meet him. He is with Palmer of Magdalen. Upon this he called on me, having it very much in heart to talk to every one on one particular subject. He has lately been instrumental in getting Christians in France to pray for the English Church, to whom the Germans are now being added, and he wants in like manner to get the English to pray for the Continental Christians. I suppose he would like nothing better than to have a practice set on foot of praying, e.g. every Thursday (which is their day), for their restoration to the true faith and for the unity of the Church. He urged very strongly that all difficulties would soon vanish if there was real charity on both sides. He is a gentlemanlike, mild, pleasing man, but very smooth.
Pusey hesitated at first. He had declined a similar pro–posal when it came from a Low Church quarter.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Brighton, January 12, 1840.
I am suspicious as to any combinations within our Church. It seems to me that till the system of the Church is more carried out one is rather drawing people off from the right direction by combining even to realize in a greater degree what she has provided for us. It is what one has been objecting to Mr. Stuart's plan and the Low Church generally. We do pray, as a Church, for the Churches in the Communion of Rome, as for all others, twice daily; they only pray for us once in the year as lying under an anathema; so that, much as we are obliged to Mr. Spencer and those joined with him, our Church, as a Church, has the superiority in doing for them, as a Church, what they are only doing for us as individuals. (I read part of your letter to Manning, who was with me, and he seemed to think that any union corresponding to that of Mr. S. would put those who did not like it in perplexity.) Ought not the day also to have been a fast-day? for which Thursday is specially ill-suited, besides the difficulty of insti–tuting private fasts. I do not collect from your letter what your own thoughts about it are, so send mine and Manning's.
Newman rejoined that he did not see any harm in one day being fixed to pray for Unity. Such an arrangement did not involve the formation of a society. The new com–mandment to love one another had been given on a Thursday.
There the matter ended, so far as Pusey was concerned, until the end of March, when Newman proposed that if a union of prayer throughout the whole Church was impos–sible something might be attempted within the Church of England. In this modified proposal Pusey was ready to coincide.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Christ Church, Eve of the Annunciation, 1840.
I should like the plan of 'an union for prayer for internal union' very much, if it could be shown to be regular, and not give countenance to irregularities, such as October 4 commemorations, Mr. Stewart's plan, &c. It would be excellent, as originating on our side, who are looked upon as disturbers of the public peace, and the L[ow] C[hurch] must come into it and be softened by it. But how could it become extensive and regular too? Could one ask the Bishop of Oxford and make it diocesan, so that other dioceses might join? or the Arch–bishop of Canterbury, so at least as to be able to say that they did not disapprove of it? I should like the day to be Friday, unless you have a decided preference for Thursday, for which there is much to be said.
You say, 'I could say a good deal on the subject.' I wish you would in the B[ritish] C [ritic]. Also do have an article on the use of R. C. books of devotion. It is much needed, for persons may readily get entangled by it; and yet the prayers of T. Aquinas and Bonaventura at the end of the Breviary are so valuable.
Newman suggested hereupon that the first step would be to apply to the Archbishop for his sanction, and then to ask some of the leading clergymen of the Low Church party whether they would co-operate. Pusey acquiesced in this; but before the Archbishop could be approached the plan must be matured. 'What prayers were to be used? What was to be the day, what the hour, at which they should be used? Did our Lord's precept about entering into the closet and shutting the door forbid associations for private prayer where the individuals were known to one another?'
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Littlemore, April 7, 1840.
As to the day, I think on the whole Friday is best. As to the hour, nine is the Proper time, but it may interfere with the business of the day, and also may be (therefore) an ostentatious hour. Early rising not only would be less seen and less difficult to secure, but it would involve self-denial. If I said six, it might be hard on elderly people. Seven, I suppose, is the hour of prime, and so far a good hour. Should it not be the same winter and summer? were it not for elderly people,--but qu. is not seven as bad for them? Can we take any hour which will not be a difficulty to some, or many? I almost incline to six. (I suppose we must give up the notion of a fixed hour. The utmost we can gain will be a recommendation of one.) I think I should exclude all but Church prayers, except when an individual prayed alone. One has no right to fetter private prayer, but it would be very inexpedient for a private character to be stamped on what is sola? in any degree. I hardly understand your question about Matt. vi. I cannot conceive the rule about 'shut thy door' more contravened by social prayer than by public. I drop entirely the notion of a manifesto, since Keble evidently does not like it. I do not like fast days: I cannot tell why, except that they are efforts. I suspect they are Calvinistic. 'Lest she weary me' is our direction.
Pusey, with characteristic eagerness, proposed to set at once to work.
E. B. P. to REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Fer. 4 inf. Hebd. Pass. 1840.
It is an anxious thing to decide any way to whom first to apply, for fear it should fail. I will send your letter to Keble this evening, in case he should have any suggestions; then, if you think best, I would write to Marsh, Buddicorn (Liverpool), Snow (St. Dunstan's), Archdeacon Law, Brodrick (Bath), Elliott, who might be good indices. My own notion was that one of us might write to the Archbishop and Bishop of Oxford, stating generally that a wish for something of this sort is felt (without specifying names), and to ask whether they would have any objection to its being acted upon in their diocese or in the province generally, with the sanction of the respective Bishops. Then you might get Archdeacon Froude to apply to the Bishop of Exeter, Keble to Winchester, Hamilton to Salisbury, Hook to Ripon, &c., and then one might apply to Archdeacons to employ clerical meetings to extend it within those dioceses. I think, though, it must emanate from Oxford, yet we should soon be joined by persons who would take off from it the appearance of party in the sight of sincere men.
But it is an anxious thing to apply to the Archbishop, because if the answer were unfavourable, there were little remedy.
Keble suggested a public petition to the Archbishop that he would sanction the union for prayer. To this Pusey objected that it would appear to cast a slight on other Bishops by passing them over. Newman too thought that it was 'certain to cause jealousy.' In other respects Keble concurred in the proposal.
Pusey had written to Harrison, asking him to submit the plan to the Archbishop; but before Harrison could do so, Pusey again wrote to withdraw the request, on the ground that 'our immediate application should be made to our own Bishops.' 'It seems to me,' he continued, 'that it is rather the office of our respective Bishops to consult the Metro–politan, or, if they prefer it, to refer us to him.' He then proceeds:--
'We have no one centre of unity like the Romanists; although from our respect to the Abp. of C., as also from the extent of his province, and that we ourselves are living in it, we are apt sometimes practically to forget that there is another province and another Archbishop. I think, partly owing to our insulated condition, partly to our connexion with the State, we are too apt to look upon ourselves as in such sort one Church, as to forget the claims which our respective Bishops have upon us; that, whatever responsibility they may have to their brethren, they stand in an especial relation to us, and so (however they may feel their own hands tied) they have an especial right to counsel, direct, originate, sanction things for us. We seem to look upon our Church too much (so to say) as one machine, of which the several Bishops are wheels, instead of regarding each as an 'arxé' although all united by the invisible bond of communion, as well as by outward bands, into one. Perhaps I may have been more exposed to this than others, from the state of Chapters, which are so disconnected with their Bishops; this, at least, never visited by him, except at ordinations, when he appears as a guest, rather than a head.
'I suppose, however, that the Bishops may very likely either consult together, or with the Archbishop, or refer us to him.'
Pusey himself applied to the Bishop of Oxford: his letter contains a matured statement of the plan:--
Christ Church, June 11, 1840.
MY DEAR LORD,
I have been wishing for some time to lay before your Lordship a plan, upon which some of us have been some time thinking, in the hope of increased union in the Church. It is to gain persons of different ways or shades of thinking to pray on one day in the week for increased unity.
The bases of the plan which have been thought of are these:--
1. The day.--The Friday in each week, as the weekly commemoration of the Passion, our Church's weekly fast and day of humiliation (and our manifold divisions sadly call for humiliation), its being a Litany-day; and so one which those who do not use Daily Service still, in many cases, keep of old times. As being already kept in a degree, it would fall in with people's habits more, and might lead to its being better kept. It is not, either, like choosing a day for ourselves. The Good Friday Collects, being for the Church, and the bringing in of those without, seemed to point the same way.
2. Objects.--(i) Unity of doctrine and spirit. (ii) Guidance into the truth.
3. Plan.--(i) Prayers to be private, except any have members of his own household for the time being whom he would like to join with him, but to be limited to those living in the same house. (ii) Unless strictly private, prayers from our Liturgy only to be used.
4. None to be hindered thereby from withstanding principles which we respectively think wrong, from controversy, &c.
We cannot but hope that some such plan as this might, in the first instance, allay some of the feelings of jealousy, mistrust, dislike, &c. which exist. People could not combine together to pray that they might all be one without being softened towards each other. And then, ultimately, there is the blessing promised to persevering, united prayer.
This we wish to attain in as quiet a way as possible: we look then that the prayer should be mostly private, the union consisting in its being on the same day, and, as far as may be, at the same time, for the same end.
But for this we need, in some degree, Episcopal sanction; because, although our object is one to which none would object, we would avoid setting a precedent of combination which might be applied to other objects which might not be desirable.
We wish the plan to emanate from both sides of the Church, in order that it might not be looked upon with suspicion as a party measure.
The plan is, then, in different dioceses, to gain some who would be regarded as of opposed or different shades of religious opinion, so that the application to the Diocesan might come from both parties.
In your Lordship's diocese I have named the subject to persons of different ways of thinking (with a view of being able to assure your Lordship that such a plan is desired), and have found that it was felt to be very desirable.
I did not like to go further without informing your Lordship, having sufficiently ascertained this point, and not wishing that it should be publicly spoken of, or canvassed, without ascertaining your Lordship's views.
The same plan will be laid before the Bishops in other dioceses. If your Lordship approves of the plan sufficiently to sanction our making it public, my friend Mr. Newman has drawn out a plan of a selection of prayers from the Liturgy for this purpose, which I should wish to submit to your Lordship.
I should say that we do not contemplate anything of a formal asso–ciation or society, or that those who engage in it should be known to each other. When once sanctioned, the plan was, that each should interest those whom he thought right and could, and those, others; so that, with the approbation of the Bishops, it might spread throughout our Church.
We are miserably weakened by our divisions, and yet there is a great deal of energy in our Church, and that increasing, if it were but united.
I do not wish to press your Lordship for any speedy answer, and have chosen the way of writing in order that your Lordship may have the nature of the plan more distinctly placed before you.
I have the honour to remain, with much respect,
Your Lordship's faithful and obedient servant,
E. B. PUSEY.
Bishop Bagot hesitated to act on his own judgment. He sent Pusey's letter to the Archbishop, and asked for advice. The Archbishop's reply illustrates at once the kindly feeling, piety, shrewdness, and caution of the writer.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY TO THE BISHOP OF OXFORD.
MY DEAR LORD, Lambeth, June 22, 1840.
I have been prevented from returning the enclosed as soon as I could have wished by the more than ordinary interruptions which I have experienced for the last three weeks, and which, literally speaking, have engrossed the whole of my disposable time. The same press of occupation prevents me from entering at any length on the proposal which forms the subject of Dr. Pusey's letter. I am therefore compelled briefly to say that though the object at which he aims is in all respects most desirable, though I think very highly of his zeal and piety, and agree with him in attributing the greatest efficacy to prayer, more especially as here accompanied with active endeavours for the attainment of the blessing which is sought, I fear the combination which he proposes would not answer his expectations in the result. It would not, in my opinion, eventually produce peace: many persons who differ from him in their opinions would look with suspicion on the plan; and the prayers even of those who came into it might possibly be directed to unity established on grounds very different from those which he contemplates, and consequently would not fall under the description of United Prayer. In truth we offer up prayers in the Church for unity at least on every Sunday, and every person who chooses may do the same on all days in the week: but as this latter does not require the sanction of the Bishop, I do not see why that sanction should be required. Indeed, I should .be afraid of a precedent which might in future times be applied to questionable purposes, and which would introduce a practice that might be varied and modified in different ways and by different persons, without regard to authority.
My notion is that if Dr. Pusey and his friends should choose to put forth and recommend such a plan they may do it on their own respon–sibility without prejudice to the respect which is due to the Bishop; if they consulted me as a friend, I should advise them even against this; if they looked for my public approbation as a Bishop, I should decline acceding to their request.
I remember an Evangelical clergyman about thirty years ago who told me that he had long been surprised that this nation had not been destroyed for its sins, till at last he discovered that there were a number of praying people in Yorkshire who met weekly for the purpose of deprecating the punishment of the national sins.
Not very long ago I met with a proposal for uniting in prayer for more copious outpourings of the Spirit. These are both proper objects of prayer. But I question whether such a mode of praying, except on solemn occasions prescribed by authority, is judicious.
I am really afraid of innovations, not knowing to what they may possibly lead, and we have sufficient means of grace if we would only make the best use of them.
As you said you should be at Canterbury during the whole of Sep–tember, I have fixed Thursday, the 24th of that month, for my first visitation at the cathedral.
Believe me, my dear Lord,
Your Lordship's most faithful servant,
After an interval of three weeks Bishop Bagot wrote to Pusey, mainly in the very words of the Archbishop's letter, but, as was perhaps natural, without mentioning the Arch–bishop's name. Pusey and Newman might have a private union of prayer, but the Bishop was not sanguine as to its results, and he could not give it his Episcopal sanction. Pusey wrote again; and again Bishop Bagot forwarded his letter to Lambeth.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY TO THE BISHOP OF OXFORD.
Lambeth, July 20, 1840.
MY DEAR LORD,
I return Dr. Pusey's letter, which breathes the same amiable spirit that distinguishes all that comes from him. In everything that regards the government of the Church the very learned and pious divines who think with Dr. Pusey are accustomed to express and to pay the greatest deference to the Bishop. In this they are right; but I question whether the principle as applied by them would not tend, if carried out in effect, to generate schism, to make each diocese a separate Church with customs and practices of its own, instead of a member of our Anglican Catholic Church, concurring in usages, no less than in doctrine, and further to introduce a system liable to change according to the opinions of individual Bishops in succession.
Believe me, my dear Lord,
Most truly yours,
The proposed union for prayer nearly came to nothing:
nearly, but not quite. Bishop Bagot did not encourage it. Newman's sketch of a plan was used in private for some years by some friends in and near Oxford; and it was published in 1846 under the title of 'Prayers for Unity and Guidance into the Truth.' It furnished the idea of the short prayers circulated in 1845 by Pusey, Keble, and Marriott for use at three Hours of the day for the unity of the Church, the conversion of sinners, and the advancement and per–severance of the faithful. In this shape they have been ever since in daily use by members of a little society known as the Brotherhood of the Holy Trinity, and have become better known to Churchmen through the Intercessory Manual of the Rev. R. M. Benson of the Cowley Society of St. John.
While this correspondence was going on another subject was mooted which touched Pusey very nearly, and which was ominous, perhaps, of coming trouble. Newman spent Lent, 1840, at Littlemore, where he 'gave himself up to teaching in the Poor Schools and practising the choir.' But his mind was moving on more anxious questions, especially, as he tells us, on the questions which led to the publication of Tract 90. These were not unconnected with the wish to retire from Oxford and to carry out at Littlemore a plan which had been much before the minds of himself and Pusey.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Littlemore, March 17, 1840.
Since I have been up here an idea has revived in my mind, of which we have before now talked, viz, of building a monastic house in the place, and coming up to live in it myself.
It rose in my mind from the feeling which has long been growing on me that my duty as well as pleasure lies more at Littlemore than I have made it. It has long been a distress that I know so little of my parishioners in Oxford, but tradespeople it is next to impossible to know, considering how they have hitherto been educated--at least, impossible to me. It has pained me much to be preaching and doing little more than preach--knowing and guiding only a few, say about half a dozen: moreover, from the circumstances of the case, however little I might wish it, preaching more for persons who are not under my charge, members of the University.
All this is independent of any monastic scheme. I have given twelve years to St. Mary's in Oxford, may I not in fairness and pro–priety give something of my continual presence to St. Mary's at Littlemore?
In such a case I should have no intention of separating myself from St. Mary's in Oxford or the University. I should take the Sunday afternoon service at St. Mary's, if that were an object, and should be continually in Oxford--indeed I must be, as being full of ties as a Fellow of Oriel.
Next, as to this plan of a 'moné': I could not be here much without my library--this is what immediately turned my thoughts to a building; and then all we had on former occasions said about it came into my mind.
I am quite of opinion, first that such a scheme cannot begin in Oxford, nor in London or other great towns. Next I think we must begin with a complete type or specimen, which may preach to others. I am sanguine that if we could once get one set up at Littlemore it would set the example both in great towns, and for female societies.
Again, perhaps it might serve as a place to train up men for great towns.
Again, it should be an open place, where friends might come for a time if they needed a retreat, or if they wished to see what it was like.
And further, if it be an object, as you sometimes kindly think, to keep me to Oxford (and indeed as I should like), a plan like this fixes me. I should conceive myself as much fixed as you are by your canonry, whereas at present I am continually perplexing myself whether I am not called elsewhere, or may not be.
Nor do I think that in such a plan I am neglecting the duty of residence at Oriel: first, because the college has made me their Vicar to this parish, nay made me such as Fellow, for did I resign my Fellowship I resign the living; next, because the Sodalitium might be looked upon as a hall dependent in a way on the college, as St. Mary's Hall was.
And let it be called St. Gregory's--and let your four volumes first enter it.
If it were ever brought to pass, perhaps you would come up to it now and then on saints' days--or when you wanted change of air. And now I have said my say so far. Money, I hope, would be forth–coming: the ground however is an anxious thing.
Pusey had two minds about the subject of this letter. The plan of life contemplated was substantially his own; but the withdrawal of Newman from Oxford would be a disaster to the cause which they both had at heart.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Christ Church, March 19, 1840.
* * * * * * *
I thought much, as you will suppose, of your plan. I am glad that you think at all events of retaining the pulpit at St. Mary's, for your preaching there has certainly been made a great instrument of good: so that one may feel very confident that it was, in part at least, for that end that it was ordered you should be Vicar of St. Mary's.
There is only one other point which I should like you to consider, viz, whether it would not be compatible with your plan that you should be occasionally resident (e.g. during great part of the terms) in Oxford: supposing you to reside six weeks, this would make but eighteen, i.e. one-third only of the year about. You know how much the presence of a senior Fellow helps to form the 'ethos' of the body: and you have no adequate representative. Marriott must be a great loss. You, however, know the state of your own body best, but it is a thing to be thought of.
Then also your Tuesday evenings certainly have been the means of forming people; so that your occasional residence in Oxford and your presence among us would have great advantages.
With respect to the plan itself, one may, I think, lean much upon those tendencies which gradually grow in one, and (though I do not see why you should have been 'continually perplexing' yourself 'whether you are not called elsewhere') your reasons seem to me valid.
Then certainly it would be a great relief to have a 'moné' in our Church, many ways, and you seem just the person to form one.
I can then only repeat, what is my habitual prayer for you, 'to ergon ton xeipon sou kateuthinoi Theos'.
For myself, one has a feeling corresponding to that with which Elisha (I mean as far as outward circumstances go) may be supposed to have heard the words, 'Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to-day?' However, if I am to act more for myself, I suppose it would be somehow in this way.
I hardly look to be able to avail myself of the 'moné' since I must be so busy when here on account of my necessary absences to see my children, unless indeed I should live long enough to be ejected from my canonry, as, of course, one must contemplate as likely if one does live, and then it would be a happy retreat.
Would it not be better to take an English rather than a Roman saint, or why should it not be St. Mary's of Littlemore? But I suppose it will be some time before you obtain 'ground' for such an end.
You would not make up your mind, in such a case, not to accept the Provostship at all events?
Newman would meet Pusey's suggestions so far as he could.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Littlemore, (?20) March, 1840.
You cannot help writing what is kind: and what can you mean by speaking in the way you do about you and me?
What you suggest has a good deal to be said for it. Suppose I began only as far as this, to be in Oxford each term for six or eight weeks? The disadvantage of being in two places is the irregularity which it would cause; and it would not be compatible with having others here besides myself. But I might do as much as this, build two rooms, one for me, one for my books, so that the building could afterwards be increased, and call it for a time but the quasi-parsonage of Littlemore. This is all very fine talking, however, when I have not got the ground, and I should fear it would be no easy matter to persuade the owner, a strange old man living at Dorchester, to sell it. The whole plan necessarily is a work of time.
I would not hold out against your and Keble's strong opinion, else I have myself come to the view that the Provostship, if it could be mine, would not be tanti. There is a mass of College business to be attended to, and of Hebdomadal and one's time cut up in vacations by residence at Rochester with books at Oxford. If one could do as one would, I would have Marriott Provost; he has a particular art of taking young men, and has had it from an undergraduate.
[Rest of letter gone.]
Pusey did not in his heart like the plan; but he had too much love and reverence for Newman to oppose it directly. Hence the hesitation, and, apparently, the indistinctness of purpose, in the subjoined letter.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Christ Church, Eve of the Annunciation, 1840.
I wish you not to lay over-much stress on what I sent for you to consider, touching term residence in Oxford; for, other things apart, you know your own College best (though probably not the degree of your own influence) and I should be afraid to bias you: I think you [are] best under the guidance of what is suggested to you.
* * * * * * *
Is there not something between a regular and 'two rooms, one for you and one for your books'? Might not rooms be built which might form a wing of a 'moné', on the same plan on which you would build the 'moné', but still large enough to admit of two or three or four friends staying there during the vacations, and perhaps you might even find one of them capable of being sub-Prior, and so staying on during your absence. This need not startle people, as a 'moné' would, though, 'phonanta sunetoisin', it would be under the size of an ordinary parsonage-house, and there would be nothing decisive about it, though people would suspect of course, and meanwhile might get familiarized to the idea.
With regard to the irregularity of having two homes, I do not think that that is any great difficulty; as far as study is concerned, pro–vided you give .yourself definite work. I found that I could work at Holton and even at Budleigh Salterton very well.
If you only occupied the rooms during vacations it might furnish occupation for a college servant or two, which you were anxious about.
I once thought very decidedly that the Provostship would be waste of time to you in College and Hebdomadal business; but you thought that this depended more on the Provost's own will; that he might take more or less as he thought fit, and might delegate or leave a good deal to others. So I supposed he might (though unless the Statutes are dispatched you probably would find a good deal to do). You thought the income a good thing. However, this is all very contingent: I only meant 'You would not make up your mind not to be Provost, under any circumstances?' I wish Rogers were in orders; it seems as though he would have so much more weight. Marriott would be a very good Provost.
* * * * * * *
Ever your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
This plan was gradually matured, while at about the same time Pusey's earlier plan of the house he had opened in St. Aldate's for the reception of graduates--'the coenobitium,' as Newman called it--came to a natural termination by the election of Mr. J. B. Mozley as a Fellow of Magdalen. If this effort had not realized all that Pusey hoped, it did something to promote value for a common life of prayer and theological study. 'The house in St. Aldate's,' wrote Newman to Pusey, 'has ended well, in spite of men's backwardness to enter it. Pattison, Christie, and Mozley all Fellows.'
It was apparently during the year 1840 that the use of the word 'Puseyism' became widely popular. The principles reasserted by the Oxford writers had been before denounced by their Latitudinarian opponents as Newmanism; or they sometimes used an obvious witticism, and called it Newmania. This designation, however, was never popularized. That Pusey himself greatly disliked such a use of his name need not be added: it reminded him of the party cries at Corinth condemned by St. Paul; it contradicted that feature of the English Reformation which he was never weary of extolling, that it had not been identified with any human name such as that of Cranmer or Ridley. In later life, in his more playful moods, he would some–times speak of a man's being condemned for being an 'ite'--but he never pronounced the word in full. When however it first became popular a lady wrote to ask him what it meant, and this led him to write an explanation which has a moral and religious as well as an historical value.
WHAT IS PUSEYISM?
It is difficult to say what people mean when they designate a class of views by my name; for since they are no peculiar doctrines, but it is rather a temper of mind which is so designated, it will vary according to the individual who uses it. Generally speaking, what is so designated may be reduced under the following heads; and what people mean to blame is what to them appears an excess of them.
(1) High thoughts of the two Sacraments.
(2) High estimate of Episcopacy, as God's ordinance.
(3) High estimate of the visible Church as the Body wherein we are made and continue to be members of Christ.
(4) Regard for ordinances, as directing our devotions and disci–plining us, such as daily public prayers, fasts, and feasts, &c.
(5) Regard for the visible part of devotion, such as the decoration of the house of God, which acts insensibly on the mind.
(6) Reverence for and deference to the Ancient Church, of which our own Church is looked upon as the representative to us, and by whose views and doctrines we interpret our own Church when her meaning is questioned or doubtful: in a word, reference to the Ancient Church, instead of the Reformers, as the ultimate expounder of the meaning of our Church.
But, while these differences are of degree only, there is a broad line of difference between the views so designated (Puseyism) and the system of Calvin (which has been partially adopted in our Church), though not as it is for the most part held by conscientious and earnest-minded persons: such points are
(1) What are the essential doctrines of saving faith? The one says, those contained in the Creeds, especially what relates to the Holy Trinity. The other (Calvinist), the belief in justification by faith only.
(2) The belief of an universal judgment of both good and bad according to their works.
(3) The necessity of continued repentance for past sins.
(4) The intrinsic acceptableness of good works, especially of deeds of charity (sprinkled with the Blood of Christ), as acceptable through Him for the effacing of past sins.
(5) The means whereby a man, having been justified, remains so. The one would say (the Calvinist), by renouncing his own works and trusting to Christ alone; the other, by striving to keep God's com–mandments through the grace of Christ, trusting to Him for strength to do what is pleasing to God, and for pardon for what is displeasing, and these bestowed especially through the Holy Eucharist as that which chiefly unites them with their Lord.
(6) The Sacraments regarded in this, the Calvinistic system, as signs only of grace given independently of them; by our Church, as the very means by which we are incorporated into Christ, and subse–quently have this life sustained in us.
(7) The authority of the Universal Church as the channel of truth to us. The one (our Church) thinks that what the Universal Church has declared to be matter of faith (as the Creeds) is to be received by individuals, antecedently to and independently of what they themselves see to be true. The other, that a person is bound to receive nothing but what he himself sees to be contained in the Holy Scriptures.
I am, however, more and more convinced that there is less difference between right-minded persons on both sides than these often suppose--that differences which seemed considerable are really so only in the way of stating them; that people who would express themselves very differently, and think each other's mode of expressing themselves very faulty, mean the same truths under different modes of expression.
E. B. PUSEY.
The lines on which the revival, thus popularly associated with Pusey's name, had hitherto moved had been almost exclusively doctrinal. In the academical society of Oxford this was quite natural. But it was inevitable that the question of the revival of the ceremonial which had ex–pressed these doctrines in the pre-Reformation Church should sooner or later come to the front. Already, at the period which is now being described, the study of Liturgies ancient and modern was making itself felt in a desire to revive usages and symbols which were prescribed or not forbidden by the Prayer-book. The Rev. F. Oakeley wrote an article on the subject in the British Critic of April, 1840, which attracted a great deal of attention. It was only natural that Pusey should be consulted by persons who were anxious to restore ancient usages wherever they could. His Assistant-lecturer in Hebrew, Mr. Seager, who was a keen student of Liturgies, afforded him an illustration of this tendency: a cross on his stole in St. Mary's, such as would now be taken as a matter of course, occasioned a separate controversy. Mr. Russell, who as a Cambridge undergraduate had visited Pusey two years before. was now working in St. Peter's. Walworth, and had written a tract on the observance of the Ornaments Rubric, and sent it to Pusey. Pusey's reply is so instructive as to his view of the whole matter, that it is given at length:--
E. B. P. TO THE REV. J. F. RUSSELL.
101 Marine Parade, Brighton, Oct. 9, 1839.
MY DEAR SIR,
You will have known what prevented me from looking at your tract on the Rubric for the time. I have now been from home for some time, and had not an opportunity of reading it until to-day. I was interested in it, and hope that it may help in its degree to the restoration of some valuable usages, which have been of late disused: but I must take the privilege of an elder to warn you against points of singularity, and which may readily be made matters of personal dis–tinction. You will not mind my freely saying to you that I cannot hear without much anxiety of some practices of friends of yours, e.g. the hanging a room with black velvet during Lent. There seems in this a spirit foreign to the retiredness and absence of self--of real Catholicity: the very spirit of Catholicity is to make the individual sink in the body whereof he has been made a member: the tendency of Catholic practice is to subdue self: the individual should become the more humble in proportion to the dignity of his office. But in this and other things and, indeed, expressions that I have heard, there seems to be a tendency to seek occasion for distinction by the very means of Church practices, which were, of course, a miserable profana–tion. I hope that no individuals are conscious of this: but I have heard of such an expression as 'that things should be done at once; for a few years hence they would be so common that there would be no distinction in them,' or something to this effect. One should have very sad misgivings whither a person might not be led who acted in any degree with such an object as this: it would be making an idol of self, while seeming to honour God and the Church. Vanity, unsub–duedness, self in some form, has been the source of all heresy; and the fear lest a person should be abandoned to self would in this case be the greater, in consequence of his looking to self in the midst of holy things.
On this ground, among others, I should deprecate seeking to restore the richer style of vestments used in Edward the Sixth's reign: con–temptible as personal vanity appears in the abstract, it has probably much more root than people are aware of, and has the firmer hold because disregarded. It seems beginning at the wrong end for the ministers to deck their own persons: our own plain dresses are more in keeping with the state of our Church, which is one of humiliation: it does not seem in character to revive gorgeous or even in any degree handsome dresses in a day of reproach and rebuke and blasphemy: these are not holyday times. We seem in this, as in many other respects, to have fallen involuntarily into a practice conformable to our state; and such as we are, in the midst of division, our flocks rent from us by the sins or neglect of their or our forefathers and our own, the garment of mourning were fitter for us than one of gladness.
Of course, if there were any peremptory injunction which we were unquestionably pledged to obey it would be a different thing; but the Rubric which you would enforce has been otherwise understood by the majority of authorities. In doubtful cases our recourse is naturally to our Bishops: of these, two or three (I believe among them your present Diocesan) have expressed their disapproval of this interpretation; so that in their dioceses the plan you propose could not be acted upon, nor the uniformity you wish for attained.
But, if it be not necessary, certainly it is very undesirable. Hardly anything, perhaps, has given so much handle as this subject of dresses: it has deterred many, made many think the questions at issue to be about outward things only, given occasion to scoffing, and disquieted many sober people.
If they be not necessary, certainly there is too much at stake to admit of our risking distracting people's minds by questions about them. The nature and efficacy of the Sacraments, the character and benefit of Confirmation and Orders; the whole scheme, one might almost say, of doctrine and practice is in some degree at issue. For certainly the popular way of considering the mystery of the Holy Trinity is very different from that of Catholic antiquity: I mean, the habit of mind seems so to be, though (blessed be God) the confession of true faith still remains: and the nature of repentance, fasting, alms, or of judgement to come, is very different in the two systems.
As far as externals will contribute to greater reverence, it were far better and far more influential to begin with that which is farthest removed from self. One of the prejudices against Catholicity is its supposed exaltation of the priesthood: it were better to wait till the simplicity of the priest's dress were out of keeping with the beauty and decoration of the church and the altar, so that when it came to be enriched it should seem to be forced upon us: not to begin with our–selves. It were better far to begin with painted windows, rich altar-cloths, or Communion plate. I know not whence your friend got his notion of black velvet hangings for his own room. I cannot think any of our forefathers would so have ornamented his room, while so many of the churches of our land are so bare.
We are in danger also lest these ornaments should evaporate into mere sentiment. The Low Church theology has frequent mention of the Cross, and we see that it has degenerated oftentimes into mere words: but as easily may the , representation of it become a mere shadow. It may be well to place crosses upon our churches, by our altars, on our altar-cloths; but all these things should be symbols only, to remind us that as it has been borne for us, so we must bear it. It must come as the expression of that which is within: else it will be a mere matter of taste and a witness against us. The ancient Church multiplied them and bore them manifoldly: she had the Cross in her heart, took it up daily, and so was privileged safely to behold it in all things, and to impress it in her ministrations.
In a word, practice is the very condition of privileges; and we are so surrounded and infected with uncatholic self-indulgent practice that we must be the more careful as to everything which we do touch–ing the Cross. Denial of self is the very condition of approaching the Cross.
I wish you would recommend to your friends the thoughtful study of the tract 'On the Providence of God visible in our Liturgy,' No. 86. Its deep humility and very practical spirit must be beneficial to any; and it would, I think, especially lead to a more practical view of the state in which our Church now is.
In a word, it seems plainly a part of Christian charity to avoid all peculiarities which may be helped: all to whom the Catholicity of our Church has been brought home have a responsibility laid upon them; on them and their conduct it may depend how far this view of her (which is so calculated to win back those who are now in schism from her and to perfect her) shall be realized: or they may place obstacles to her reception of those very views. But without subdual of self we may be exposed to some grievous fall, from which we have hitherto been preserved, such as the going over of some to Romanism.
Accept my sincere thanks for your sympathy in the course of my visitation; and believe me, with every good wish,
Yours very faithfully,
____________ E. B. PUSEY.
I am to return to Oxford on the 16th.
I should be sorry needlessly to pain you by speaking of yourself or your friends, but I cannot think that either they or you are adequately impressed with the responsibility of your situation: they (from what I have heard) have taken up shreds and patches of the Catholic system, without troubling themselves with its realities, its duties, its self-denial, its reverence; and they are really in the way to cause good to be evil spoken of, and have done so already. It is tricking up an idol, and that idol, self: not serving God. I must pain you by so writing, and I am sorry to do so; but I really feel that I cannot write strongly enough, if by any means this veil could be torn off your friends' eyes, and they taught to act as men who have to give account of their several actions before the judgment-seat of Christ, and so act reverently and soberly, not amuse themselves (for it is nothing better) with holy things.
And allow me one word more of advice to yourself: which is, do not think that you have possession of any new thing (which is apt to puff people up). What you have which is true has been taught quietly and unostentatiously by many in all times before you: it is in the Catechism and Liturgy: it has only been brought out into open day and seems new to those who had forgotten it. Do not act or think as though you were the Apostle of some new doctrine; but inculcate duty simply, plainly, and earnestly; and labour (as we all should) to be more peni–tential, simple, and humble-minded yourself. Contribute, if you any–how may, to build churches in your destitute district: catechize your children: and recollect that you have not been called into the vine–yard to preach a system, much less the externals of a system, but to tend your Master's sheep and lambs, to feed them and guard them, as one who will have to give account. You will not, I trust, think that I have taken too much upon myself in writing thus plainly, but will regard it as a proof of sincerity and good will.
Oct. 12, 1839.
Mr. Russell wrote an explanation, which Pusey read with satisfaction. In a second letter Pusey writes:--
I trust that you may be enabled to act uniformly with simplicity, humility, meekness, tranquillity, bearing in mind how much is at stake, how much risk there is from any superficial embracing of those views that any formation of a party tends to superficialize. Misrepresented you will doubtless be anyhow: only the more prospect of this there is, the more cautious must you be. I think that the proposal that all clergy holding certain views should on the same day resume Edward the Sixth's dresses bears the character of party, and it has been so regarded. For myself (but this is a matter of feeling) I should be sorry to find myself in a richer dress until the Church were in a happier state. At present we have the surplice for a token of purity, and the scarf as the emblem of Christ's yoke. But beyond this I should de–precate anything which could serve as the badge of party: at present, much as the opposed party speaks of it, they can find nothing; but the agreement to adopt a dress which would be peculiar would just furnish them what they want. I wish, if you republish your tract on the Rubric, you would omit all about the dresses, or at least give it a different turn, and not place a Rubric whose interpretation is doubtful on the same footing with those which are distinct...
Committing you to Him, I remain, with much interest,
Yours very faithfully,
E. B. PUSEY.
Among other projects which made their appearance at this time was that of publishing the Sarum Breviary. The portions of the Breviary which English Churchmen could not use are but few. Pusey himself used to use it, when time permitted, as Supplementary to the Prayer-book: that is to say, he said prime, terce, sext, none, and compline, omitting matins, lauds, and vespers, which are already provided for in the Prayer-book. This practice he probably adopted a little time before Mrs. Pusey's death, during the anxieties occasioned by her illness. But he did not at this time often recommend it to others. Deeply as he valued the advantage of using the additional offices con–tained in the Breviary, he was yet afraid that the practice might in some cases foster what he himself never felt, a dis–satisfaction with the more limited range of the daily offices of the Anglican Prayer-book. Probably the proposal to print the Sarum form of it was partly suggested by a more thorough study of the services from which the Book of Common Prayer was immediately derived, a study to which a considerable impulse had been given by the Rev. W. Pal–mer's 'Origines Liturgicae.' Partly too it was due to the increasing desire for that larger devotional use of the Psalter which the Breviary services satisfy with such originality and completeness; and if the Breviary was to be used it was more loyal to fall back on the old English form out of which the Prayer-book had so largely been taken, than on the Roman, which the English Church had never used at any period of its history. But then the Sarum Breviary was difficult to meet with: it was only to be found in a few college and cathedral libraries, or on the shelves of a book collector here or there. It had never been reprinted since Queen Mary's day; while the Roman Breviary was to be had in every form from any Roman Catholic bookseller. Thus when Mr. Newman wrote his tract on the Breviary in 1836 he used the Roman. The first mention of this project is in the following letter:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Christ Church, Feb. 21, 1840.
I have undertaken to ask your opinion about the following plans.
(a) Publishing the Salisbury Breviary in the original as a document, and as less likely to invite people to Rome than the Roman, which is said to be now in much use.
(b) Publishing the S. B., but marking what cannot be shown to be Catholic, either by inclosing it in brackets or by omitting it in the text and putting it in a note at the foot of the page.
(c) Translating the S. B., reformed upon certain principles, as admitting nothing which is controversial, except what has the sanction of Edward the Sixth's first book. This would admit of the Prayers for the Departed Saints, and the mention of the name of the Blessed Virgin in commemoration, but exclude the mention of the intercession of the Saints.
(d) Publishing the S. B. (original), either entire, or as in b, at the same time with c. It was thought that it might be understood that only c was recommended for use; a or b was published as a document only. (The plan is that of younger men.)
Keble's answer has been lost, but Newman writes to Pusey:--
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO B. B. P.
Littlemore, March 17, 1840.
I am very much pleased at your and K.'s plan about the Salisbury Breviary. It is important that we should be beforehand with the R.C.'s in doing it. I have a repugnance to mutilating or garbling it, considering we abuse the S. P. C. K. for so doing towards Bishop Wilson. The plan of first giving the text, and then adjusting it to K. Edward's first book, seems to get over the difficulty without seem–ing to recommend what we do not wish.
Somewhat later Keble was quite clear as to what he would recommend.
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
Hursley, March 30, 1840.
I have been into Winchester to-day, and spent some time in endeavouring to find out a Sarum Breviary which professes to be in the College Library; but as that is in great disorder at present I could not light upon it. I do not like putting off my answer to your last note any longer; and therefore I think I am ready to say that I should approve of the publication of it as a document, and of a selection of parts to be translated for a devotional book, on the principle of taking such things only as are virtually sanctioned by Edward the Sixth's first book. It seems to me that in this way we go as nearly as we can expect to providing our readers with the good of the Breviary without the harm of the more irreverent parts.
This reply was thought to be somewhat unfavourable; and although a plan of publication by subscription was set on foot it came for the present to nothing. Pusey himself, on reflection hesitated.
'For myself,' he wrote to Newman, 'I do not object to the plan; but should hardly like to be prominent. I have fears for our people, until I hear more of their acting up to the principles of our Church, fasting, &c.'
Naturally enough, at the same time there were pro–posals for reprinting Eastern Liturgies. Bishop Andrewes had long ago led the English Church to understand the wealth of devotion which they contain. The question was brought before the Publishing Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria was anxious that their Liturgy should be reprinted in England 'as unmutilated by the Romanists.' Dr. Mill, the Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge, was afraid that there might be invocations, &c. which we could not sanction, and Monophysite language as well.
E. B. P. TO REV. B. HARRISON.
Christ Church, Feb. 17, 1840.
I fear that there will be great difficulty in printing the Eastern Liturgies. I suppose the Patriarch might be induced to get rid of the Monophysitism, but the invocations would be more difficult. For though our Article only condemns 'the Romish doctrine concerning it,' we have been so little accustomed to the thought of the commu–nion of saints, or of their praying for us at all, that we are likely to be bad judges what is and what is not sound, and, if we interfered, might do mischief. -- said that the only formula they had recognizing such intercession was an address to our Lord, 'By the intercession of' (I forget the words) 'deliver us.' But I doubt whether he was to be depended on. Whom do you mean by 'the Patriarch'? I suppose, by the mention of Monoph[ysitism], of Alexandria. Might we not succeed at Antioch or Jerusalem?
In the same letter Pusey touches on a kindred and much more important subject.
'What,' he asks Harrison, 'should hinder communion from being restored with the Orthodox Greek Church? Does it seem that we need insist on their receiving the Filioque, or that they would not enter into communion with us because we retain it?'
And he explains his meaning more fully in another letter.
E. B. P. TO REV. B. HARRISON.
Christ Church, Feb. 21, 1840.
I did not mean, in what I said about the Filioque, to refer to the printing of the Creed for the Eastern Church, but whether the differ–ence was one which should prevent our being in communion with them.
It will come as a painful question to many, and to some be a difficulty as to our Church (as they come to see the perfect unity of Antiquity), why are we in communion with no other Church except our own sisters or daughters?
We cannot have communion with Rome; why should we not with the Orthodox Greek Church? Would they reject us, or must we keep aloof? Certainly one should have thought that those who have riot conformed with Rome would, practically, be glad to be strengthened by intercourse with us, and to be countenanced by us. One should have hoped that they would have been glad to be re-united with a large Christian Church exterior to themselves, provided we need not insist upon their adopting the Filioque.
Harrison answered this question in the words of the great Cambridge divine whose learning and sympathies' commanded the greatest respect at Oxford.
'Dr. Mill,' he wrote, 'says that, politically, Russia strengthens the exclusive feeling of the Greek Church, wishing herself, I mean Russia, to be regarded as the sole party capable of acting as arbiter in such matters. He also says he has always found members of the Greek Church very tenacious on the point of the Fliioque. They always begin at once on the controversy of "the Procession.”'
During this year Pusey was busy among other things in a correspondence on the 'Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Bill,' and also. in preparation for his edition of Tertullian. On the former question he objected strongly to the indefi–niteness of the Bill, to the proposed disposal of ecclesiastical property in a manner different from the intention of the original donors, and generally to any measure of the kind when the Church was not clearly in its favour.
As regards Tertullian, he contemplated an edition of the original text, and indeed obtained collations of most of the extant manuscripts; but this part of the work was suspended in the hope that an absolutely exhaustive collation of MSS. would make the text of the African Father less difficult. Pusey never carried out this part of his plan: the admirable translation of Tertullian's Apologetic and Practical Treatises, by the Rev. C. Dodgson, Rector of Croft, and afterwards Archdeacon, was made from the unsatisfactory text of Rigaltius, with only a very few corrections. But at this date the larger project was in full view, and Pusey neglected no opportunity of obtaining information or enlisting assistance which might promote it. In a letter to the venerable President of Magdalen, Dr. Routh, he says:--
'Christ Church, April 1, 1840.
'I have been trying to obtain collations of Tertullian from Paris, Leyden, and Rome. ... My plan, of late, with regard to collations, has been to try to obtain collations of English MSS., and of such foreign ones, as were most valuable for their age. Of Tertullian I am trying to obtain collations, wherever there are any MSS. which promise to be of any value.'
Later in the year Pusey heard that Mr. J. R. Hope, of Merton College, was going to Italy. In taking leave of him, Pusey suggested several places where manuscripts might be collated, and followed up the conversation by a supple–mental letter. Mr. Hope was accompanied by Mr. Frederic Rogers, afterwards Lord Blachford. They gave their time most generously to carrying out Pusey's wishes. Mr. Hope was in weak health, and his companion had weak eyes; but they worked hard at collating nevertheless, first at Munich and afterwards in Italy. Pusey's keen interest in the subject is shown in many letters which would necessarily be dry enough in the eyes of any but scholars. Mr. Hope indeed did Dr. Pusey the essential service of placing him in communication with Mr. Heyse, a German scholar, whose work was of essential service to Pusey, and of whom we shall hear more hereafter.
During the Christmas Vacation of 1839, Pusey preached twice at least at Brighton--on the Holy Innocents' Day at Trinity Chapel, and on the First Sunday after Christmas at St. Peter's, by the wish of the Vicar, the Rev. H. M. Wagner. In 1840 he preached before the University on Septuagesima Sunday; he asked Newman to look at the sermon beforehand, as 'being on high doctrine in part, though I believe all out of the Fathers.' A second University sermon on Obedience was preached on November 1st at Christ Church: this sermon was preached again in 1845 at St. Saviour's, Leeds. His most remarkable sermon, how–ever, in this year was preached at St. Paul's, Bristol, in aid of a new church, exhibiting with great power the direct con–nexion which exists between the personal devotion of the soul to Christ and work for the extension of the Church.
During the first years of the Oxford Movement, as has been said, the Church of Rome, in its proselytizing aspects, was scarcely heard of. But before 1840 a change was already perceptible. Bishop Wiseman had his eye on the 'Tracts for the Times'; and there were a few instances of unsettle–ment or secession in private life. Pusey spent a great deal of time in corresponding with a tradesman who had seceded, and with a lady who was hesitating. He consulted Arch–deacon Manning as to the best way of dealing practically with persons thus troubled. The Archdeacon wrote him a long account of his own method, which had, apparently, been successful. He first of all insisted on general principles; a priori arguments, he concluded, were inadmissible. There was no proof either in Scripture or history of the infalli–bility of the Roman Church. All the assurance which Roman Catholics have was attainable in the English Church. To become a Roman Catholic was to commit the sin of schism, to become responsible 'for all the abuses of Romanism,' and to be guilty of ingratitude to God for His gifts through the English Church. Then followed discussions in detail on transubstantiation, the supremacy of the Pope, the Apostolic succession, and autonomy of the English Church.
Newman, too, was at work on his article on 'The Catho–licity of the English Church'. It was an attempt 'to see if a great deal could not be said after all for the Anglican Church, in suite of its acknowledged shortcomings'. The argument of the article came to a great deal more than this; and Pusey was pleased with it.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
[Brighton, Dec. 3!, 1839.]
I like your article very much. I only wish you had dwelt more upon the case of the Greek Church; we make but a poor appearance against the Roman communion, but practically the question with people will be, Are we safe out of communion--not with the Catholic Church, but--with Rome? Here, then, I think we might take refuge under the shadow of the Greek Church; people who might doubt whether we were not schismatical, on account of the smallness of our communion, and might have misgivings about ourselves, would feel that the language of the Fathers would not apply, when it would cut off 90,000,000 in one Orthodox Church.
Newman was glad to get Pusey's approval. The Roman argument from our being in a minority could only be opposed by making men acquainted with the Fathers, and showing that the Roman Catholics are wanting in deference to them.
'If so,' he added, 'the translation of their writings is the greatest boon which could be given to the Church; and if it were not presumptuous to say so, there would seem to have been some secret Providence directing you to the project of translation.'
As to the Greek Church, Newman 'did not do more than allude to it in his article, knowing so little about it.'
The question was by no means an abstract or unpractical one. 'Things are progressing steadily,' writes Newman to Bowden on January 10, 1840, 'but breakers ahead! The danger of a lapse into Romanism, I think, gets greater daily. I expect to hear of victims'. Pusey was anxious to enlist Newman's sympathies in a case which was occasioning anxiety to several of his friends.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Brighton, Jan. 12, 1840.
I have heard in three quarters very uncomfortable things said about Robert Williams: he gives people painful impressions, and they have misgivings and fears about him. Keble, I recollect, some time ago, was one; then very lately Oakeley, not naming him, but, by letter, saying what, I assume, meant him; lastly Manning, who has seen but little of him. What has struck all is that his 'ethos' is not that of our Church, his affections not with her (this last I know you feel), but also that he has a supercilious way of speaking about sacred things in our Church, which must be hurtful to his own habits of mind, and one knows not where it might not lead him to. His giving up the translation of the Breviary was calculated to do him good, but that light tone of mind (or at least the appearance of it) seems to have prevailed again; it deters many. But what one is chiefly concerned about is, that it seems to lay him open to some subtle snare, which may be laid for him, one knows not how. He would mind you, perhaps. I wish he would practise some rigid rule as to his speech.
Newman was despondent. The case was more serious than Pusey had supposed.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Oriel, Jan. 15, 1840.
As to R. W. I have resigned him in my own mind some time. He is quite aware and has expressed sorrow for his random speaking before now. I hear that he is very much changed ordinarily in that respect, and that seems to me the most alarming sign. He is too serious a man to have felt himself inclined to Romanism while he spoke so lightly; but his changing his tone looked as if he felt it was no jesting matter.
Since I read Dr. W[iseman's] article I have desponded much; for, I said to myself, if even I feel myself pressed hard, what will others who have either not thought so much on the subject or have fewer retarding motives?
The subject of this correspondence engaged, as was natural, for some time the anxious attention both of Newman and Pusey. 'R. W.,' wrote Newman to Pusey on July 8, 'is in a very anxious state.' Later, on July 28:--
'R. W. is stationary at present; but what is to be done with a man who begins with assuming as a first principle which is incontrovertibly borne in upon his mind that the Roman is the Catholic Church, that therefore the Tridentine Decrees are eternal truths, that to oppose them is heresy, that all who sign the Thirty-nine Articles do oppose them, and that it is a sin to be in communion with heretics? He is as docile and patient as any one can be. If you wish to see a letter I have had from him, I will send it; but I hardly know if he contemplates your seeing it. Perhaps he does.'
Pusey, as was his wont, thought that the difficulty might be as much due to moral mistakes in the past as to any real occasion of intellectual embarrassment.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Brighton, Aug. 3, 1840.
I am glad that R. W. is stationary. The only hope of his recovery seems to be in the way which. you suggested for my patient, 'Whence does this persuasion come?' 'A first principle borne in upon his mind' is inspiration or temptation, and earnest-minded as he now is, he will be, I hope, humble-minded enough to acknowledge that it is as likely to be temptation. He ran into it years past, when I was at Weymouth. Arthur Acland spoke to me with pain of the light way in which he had been and was in the habit of speaking, the strange things he would say repelling people who were on their way to Catholicism. Surely he must feel that he is likely enough to be suffering from this past want of self-discipline and control, and that he has opened the door to suggestions from the evil one. I should be interested to see the letter.
Newman forwarded the letter, adding with regard to its writer the following remark
'He has not used any words at all like "irresistibly borne in upon him”--nothing can be more quiet or sober than his whole deportment. His single perplexity is, How can there be more than one true Church, when Scripture speaks of "one body”?'
In returning the letter Pusey deeply regretted the state of mind which it revealed, and added:--
'The words "irresistibly borne in upon the mind" were yours. It is a melancholy letter; so calmly persuaded that his Church has not the faith; is opposed to it; and that, I suppose, on the points in which the Roman Church is weakest; and that he himself has the faith, but no Church, and was born out of the true faith. It is a sad picture; and this for one who has access to antiquity. However, all that can be said you will have said, so I need not add to your sorrow by commenting. It is, on the whole, a great relief to see the letter; one may hope that light will come to him out of darkness, if he wait patiently, as he is doing.'
Archdeacon Manning also was consulting Pusey as to a lawyer in a similar difficulty: the Archdeacon insisted on the objection to the Roman claims which was presented by the Eastern Church. He feared that these were only the beginning of troubles. They made him sick and weary; but they were a moral discipline.
The same subject is referred to, at this time, by Harrison. He suggested that an order of nursing sisters 'would be a vent for zeal which seems at present, for want of an authorized channel, to be in danger of running into Romanism.' It is clear that Pusey had this plan already in his mind. Newman writes to Bowden on Feb. 21, 1840:--
'Pusey is at present eager about setting up Sisters of Mercy. I feel sure that such institutions are the only means of saving some of our best members from turning Roman Catholics'.
Indeed, the Roman controversy, even at this date, added considerably to Pusey's work: he thought no trouble too great if he could arrest the tendency to Rome in any mind, and he became in consequence more and more liable to be consulted by persons, in all classes of life, who found themselves in difficulties on the subject. He even read religious novels like 'Geraldine,' although he could ill spare the time, in order to be able to counteract their influence upon the minds of others. Of 'Geraldine' he wrote almost fiercely as a book 'likely to do extensive mischief.' The current, however, did not run all one way.
'Your information,' writes Pusey to Mr. J. R. Hope, 'was very interesting to me. I hope there is a turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children, and among our own colonies of the children to the fathers also. You will have heard of a second person who had forsaken our communion for Rome, rejoining it at Oakeley's chapel'
It is clear that at this time the leaders of the Tractarian movement were keenly conscious of the growing tendency to defection towards Rome. They were, in their several ways, endeavouring to diminish the dangers. But at the moment of such anxieties from their own adherents, there were gathering against them from without three forces of opposition of very different kinds. There was the sincere, but almost fanatical, animosity of the Puritan spirit, so long dominant in some parts of the country. There was the growing hostility of the Theological Liberals, who, with all professions of charity in other directions, have always shown a rancorous and intolerant hatred to dogma and sacerdotalism. And there was behind both the vast mass of the Church of England, to some extent indifferent, certainly prejudiced, but at least liable to be aroused to opposition to anything doubtful, strange, and innovating.
There was thus a formidable opposition, whose weight the most statesmanlike and tolerant of the Bishops could not wholly ignore; while in Oxford itself there was a body of respectable and traditional authority, wanting in interest and insight, who viewed with increasing dislike the spread of strange principles, forgotten or ignored, the force and depth of which they did not in any degree appreciate. Such a body was at hand ready to be stimulated into action by the younger and more energetic spirits amongst them, who were watchful for any false step on the part of their Tractarian opponents. Unfortunately, the famous Tract 90 soon gave them the opportunity which was required.