Project Canterbury

Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.

London: Longmans, 1894
volume two

Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
AD 2002







CARDINAL NEWMAN has told the world what was the place of Tract 90 in the history of his own mind, and how his mind came to have the history which he describes. The object of the Oxford Movement, as he no less than Pusey and Keble understood it, was to withstand the tendency towards unbelief inherent in the theological Liberalism of the day, by the reassertion of those principles of primitive Catholicism which the Church of England, as it then was, was so largely overlooking. They knew that it could not be withstood by criticizing it. It would only be vanquished by a definite creed, held on adequate historical grounds.

But where was this definite and primitive creed to be found? The Church of Rome, on the one hand, confessedly had a definite creed; but then there were objections to certain features of the Roman creed on the ground of Scripture and of Christian antiquity; and these objections were constantly insisted on by the professors of theological Liberalism as being in fact fatal to the claims of any definite creed whatever. One way of getting over the difficulty was to close the eyes to the force of the objections in question, and to identify the cause of positive and definite Christianity with that of the Roman Church. This course was already in 1839 and 1840 finding favour among some of the younger adherents of the Movement. But such a course was impossible--for Pusey always, and for Newman at the time in question. They knew that the modern Roman Catholic system was far from being identical with the teaching of Catholic antiquity; and that theological Liberalism could not be resisted in the long run by any system, however strong and consistent, which was at issue with the facts of history. But on the other hand, in reply to the claim that the requisite characteristics of definiteness and antiquity are to be found in the creed of the Church of England, these younger men pointed to the Thirty-nine Articles as contradicting the teaching of Catholic antiquity. So far as the generally accepted interpretation of the Articles was concerned, there was no doubt much to be said for their contention. It became therefore a very practical matter indeed to inquire whether this popular interpretation of the Articles was the only true and necessary interpretation of them. Tract 90 was an effort to answer that question.

Cardinal Newman has described the motive which led him to write the most famous of the Tracts as follows:--

'The great stumbling-block lay in the Thirty-nine Articles. It was urged that here was a positive note against Anglicanism: Anglicanism claimed to hold that the Church of England was nothing else than a continuation in this country (as the Church of Rome might be in France or Spain), of that one Church of which in old times Athanasius and Augustine were members. But, if so, the doctrine must be the same; the doctrine of the Old Church must live and speak in Anglican formularies, in the Thirty-nine Articles. Did it? Yes, it did; that is what I maintained; it did in substance, in a true sense. Man had done his worst to disfigure, to mutilate, the old Catholic Truth, but there it was, in spite of them, in the Articles still. It was there, but this must be shown. It was a matter of life and death to us to show it.             And I believed that it could be shown'.

In this account there is perhaps a certain ambiguity in the expression 'the Old Church.' If the object of the tract had been to show that the Articles might be so interpreted as to sanction the whole system of belief and practice current in the Western Church in days immediately preceding the Reformation, it would have been indefensible. But if by 'the Old Church' was meant--as Newman implies by the reference to Athanasius and Augustine--the Church of the Fathers, upon whose faith and practice the West had sub–sequently more or less innovated, then Tract 90 was a wholesome and necessary effort to rescue a formulary of the Church of England from popular glosses which were, to say the least, misleading and mischievous. Indeed, in less troubled times it seems astonishing that any one should seriously endeavour to interpret a carefully-worded set of Articles by any other standard than the language of historical theology.

Although, as has been already implied, the tract was written to meet a necessity of the moment, Newman had meditated a commentary on the Articles some years before. The 'actual cause' of his writing about them at the beginning of 1841 was, he says,

'the restlessness, actual and prospective, of those who neither liked the Via Media, nor my strong judgment against Rome. I had been enjoined, I think by my Bishop, to keep these men straight, and I wished so to do. But their tangible difficulty was subscription to the Articles, and thus the question of the Articles came before me.'

And that this was the author's feeling at the time is illustrated by the subjoined passage.


                                                                                                               Oriel, March 10, 1841.

As to the tract, I felt it was necessary for others--else I should not have done it. I do think that an alternative is coming on, when a Bishop must consent to allow what really does seem to me quite a legitimate interpretation, or to witness quasi-secessions, if not real ones, from the Church.

The tract was published in order to show that

'while our Prayer-book is acknowledged on all hands to be of Catholic origin, our Articles also, the offspring of an uncatholic age, are through God's good providence, to say the least, not uncatholic, and may be subscribed by those who aim at being Catholic in heart and doctrine.'

With this view the writer reviews fourteen of the Articles, insisting on the exact and literal sense, and carefully separating that sense from the glosses which had been attached to the words by Puritan or Latitudinarian commentators. He is less happy, as would be natural, in some parts of his task than in others; but the general result was summarized by Pusey, after an interval of a quarter of a century, in the deliberate language which the lapse of time and the experience of many troubled years entitled him to use.

'For myself, I believe that Tract 90 did a great work in clearing the Articles from the glosses, which, like barnacles, had encrusted round. I believe that that work will never be undone while the Articles shall last. Men will gloss them as they did before, according to their preconceived opinions, or as guided by the Puritan system of belief; but they cannot do so undisputed. Even the Four Tutors, in their censure upon Tract 90, seem to have been half conscious of the force of the appeal to "the literal and grammatical interpretation."So long as that interpretation shall be applied, it will be impossible either to condemn Tract 90, or to import into the Articles the traditional system so long identified with them'.

To the popular eye, Tract 90 seemed to mark a new departure. But in reality it was not so new, even for the Tractarians, as it appeared to be. The main outlines of its interpretation of the Articles had been adopted previously by Pusey and Keble as well as by Newman; they had 'gradually and independently of one another' laid aside 'a traditional system which had imported into the Articles a good many principles which were not contained in them, nor suggested by them, yet which were habitually identified with them'. It may be remarked, in illustration of this, that Pusey's 'Letter to the Bishop of Oxford,' written two years before, had gone over much of the same ground, although with the distinct object of vindicating the Oxford writers from the charge of Romanizing. And, although the tract throughout contained a great deal of matter which was unwelcome to the popular theology, it would probably have escaped the attacks to which it was exposed but for its treatment of Articles XXII. and XXXI.

The tract was published on Saturday, February 27th, 1841. It at once commanded attention throughout the country, and this result was accentuated by a debate on Maynooth in the House of Commons which happened to take place within a week of its publication. Lord Morpeth, when defending the Maynooth grant against Mr. Colquhoun, had invidiously contrasted the principles of Maynooth, with which Parliament was well acquainted when it voted the grant, with those of a Protestant University, some members of which were allowed to 'disclaim' or explain away the doctrine of the Church to which they professedly belonged. The attack took the form of innuendo, and not of direct statement; but it attracted a great deal of notice. Mr. O'Connell observed that his quarrel with the Oxford writers was that they continued to uphold the Thirty-nine Articles. In the daily press, The Times was distinguished by the calm justice of its observations:--

'Whatever may be the merits or the faults of the gentlemen at Oxford to whom Lord Morpeth and Mr. O'Connell alluded, it is notoriously false to say that any one of them ever thought of "dis–claiming"any single doctrine of the Church to which he belongs: the whole aim and object of their teaching is to recommend certain doctrines as identical with those of the Liturgy, Canons, and Articles of the Church of England. They prefer indeed to rescue from Popery the appellation of Catholic, which has ever been the inheritance of all Apostolic Churches, and they are not over-zealous for the denomination of Protestant, which occurs nowhere in the Prayer-book, which expresses no positive belief, and which is the common property of all who are separated from Rome, however widely differing among them–selves. But we think it will be difficult for any man to show that in this respect, or any other, their doctrine or practice (whether erroneous or not) contradicts any oaths which they have sworn: and we wish all who speak ill of them were equally blameless in this respect.

'We have said so much as this, not because we desire to identify ourselves with the opinions of the gentlemen in question (who, after all, as Sir Robert Inglis truly said, are not the University of Oxford), but partly because we were formerly led, on the very authority quoted by Lord Morpeth, to speak of them in terms of harshness which we now regret; and partly because it appears to us unjust and unmanly to single out absent and unrepresented men for an attack in the House of Commons, without any previous notice'.

In a second article on the subject, The Times used language which may well be described as historical, when describing the results which the Oxford Movement had already produced. After referring to the meeting 'at the house of the late Rev. Hugh James Rose,' and the resolu–tion to insist 'on the distinctive principles distinguishing the doctrine of the Church of England from all modern innovations, whether Popish or Protestant, and identifying it with the primitive faith of the Universal Church,' the writer proceeds:--

'Their teaching has now sunk deeply into the heart of the Church of England; it has acquired not merely a numerical, but a moral power and influence, which must henceforth make it impossible for any statesman to despise and overlook, and highly indiscreet for any political party unnecessarily to alienate, this element in the constitu–tion of society. The younger clergy are said to be very generally of this school; it has no want of advocates among their seniors; it has penetrated into both Houses of Parliament; and we are confidently informed (we suppose, therefore, upon some foundation) that it has met with countenance from the Bishops themselves. It has com–pletely succeeded in awakening in the Church that vital spirit of reaction, the necessity for which called it into existence. We hear nothing now of a demand for the admission of Dissenters into the Universities, of proposals to abolish subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, or of contemplated changes in the Liturgy; or, if we do still hear of them, the manner in which they are received, as contrasted with their popularity in 1833, illustrates the completeness of the victory still more forcibly.'

Pusey would probably have left Lord Morpeth's state–ment unchallenged, if he had been personally attacked, but he felt that higher interests were at stake. Lord Morpeth answered his letter at length, and with characteristic courtesy; but he declined to modify his statements, while admitting that his acquaintance with the literature which he had criticized so severely was slight, and that his impressions might be unfounded.

Lord John Russell too had made an assertion in the House which was calculated to create anxiety. Mr. Perceval wrote to ask Pusey 'whether there is the slightest founda–tion for the alleged "notorious fact"in Lord John Russell's speech, namely, that many (?any) of the Oxford students have of late renounced the pale of the English Church.' Pusey could reply confidently: 'I did not see Lord John Russell's speech, though I did Lord Morpeth's. There is not a particle of truth of any Oxford student having left the Church; we have been preserved from it hitherto, and I trust, by God's mercy, we shall be. But there is no knowing what may come, so we must not boast. I trust, however, people love and are grateful for their Church, and so will be under no temptation to leave.'

Meanwhile in Oxford war had been declared against the Tractarians in good earnest. A meeting of their opponents was held in the rooms of the Rev. Edward Cockey, Fellow of Wadham College: it consisted of the Rev. C. P. Golightly, of Oriel College, who had been the most prominent in stirring up the agitation; the Rev. A. C. Tait, Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College'; the Rev. Thomas Brancker, Fellow and Divinity Lecturer of Wadham College; the Rev. T. T. Churton, Vice-Principal and Tutor of Brasenose College; the Rev. H. B. Wilson, Fellow and Senior Tutor of St. John's College; and the Rev. John Griffiths, Sub-Warden and Tutor of Wadham College. At this meeting a letter to the Editor of the Tracts, the draft of which was pre–pared by Mr. Tait, was discussed, altered, and finally thrown into its existing form. Mr. Cockey and Mr. Brancker did not sign it, lest it should have the appearance of proceeding too largely from Wadham College. It was thought advis–able that Mr. Golightly should not sign because he held no office in his college or in the University. Some tutors in other colleges, 'known to disapprove of the "Tracts for the Times,ä' were 'asked to join in the letter, but declined.' In the event it bore the signatures, as Pusey remarked, of two Latitudinarians and two Evangelicals. With Mr. Wilson and Mr. Tait were associated Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Churton.

The letter of the Four Tutors, as it is called, was an expression of popular prejudice rather than a serious theological criticism. It complained that Tract 90 suggested 'that certain very important errors of the Church of Rome are not condemned by the Articles of the Church of England'; it laid stress on the interpretations of Articles XXII. and XXXI. The tract, it urged, 'limited the reference of these Articles to certain absurd practices and opinions which intelligent Romanists repudiate as much as we do.' The letter even complained of the reference in the tract to the declaration prefixed to the Articles, as warranting the taking them in their 'literal and gram–matical sense'; and after a few more sentences, there follows a demand that the tract-writer's name (which was, of course, perfectly well known to the four tutors) should be made known to the world.

The letter was delivered in manuscript to Newman through Mr. J. H. Parker on the evening of Monday, March 8th, the day on which it was written. Newman at once took it to Pusey, and they agreed upon a reply. It was not sent, however, until the following day. Before sending it Newman wrote to Pusey :--


'Have you anything to say about my answer, which is not yet sent? If so, I will come to you.

'Ought I to give my name? What advantage does it give them over me? On the other hand, if they print their letter, which they mean to do, will it not be a greater advantage over me, for me to be known yet not to say?

'I thought I had better not go into the question with them.'

In the event he sent the following answer, which was dated on the previous night:--

'The Editor of the "Tracts for the Times"begs to acknowledge the receipt of the very courteous communication of Mr. Churton, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Griffiths, and Mr. Tait, and receives it as expressing the opinion of persons for whom he has much respect and whose names carry great weight.

'March 8, 1841.

'To the Revd. T. T. Churton, H. B. Wilson, J. Griffiths, and A. C. Tait.'

This answer reached Wadham College on Tuesday, the 9th, in the middle of the day, just as the printed letter of the Four Tutors was being circulated throughout Oxford. The letter was not a composition to move the University to action: The Times, in noticing it, advised the four tutors to fight out the questions raised by Tract 90 in fair con–troversy, while it playfully expressed a hope that 'they did not instruct their pupils in the sort of English which they appear to write'.

Tacitus, as is well known, speaks severely of the busy people who were known in the Rome of his day as delatores, and he wishes that they could have been kept more in check than they were by law. They are, it is to be feared, a natural product of the suspicion and panic which haunts all governments that have been tempted to substitute personal prejudice for resolute adherence to a rule of right. The same influence which had prompted the letter of the Four Tutors was already at work in higher quarters, and it is impossible, in spite of his real virtues, to deny to Mr. Golightly the merit which may attach to a pertinacity which resembled fanaticism. He sought and obtained an interview with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Wynter, and urged upon him the duty of 'bringing Tract 90 in a formal manner before the notice of the Heads of Houses, and eventually of the University at large'. The Vice-Chancellor, thus urged, submitted the tract to the Hebdomadal Council for discussion on March 10th.

'The Heads,' writes J. B. Mozley to his sister, 'have met, and very furious they were.... Some of them could not condescend even to a regular discussion of the question, so entirely had their vague appre–hensions overpowered their faculties.'

They separated without arriving at any other conclusion than that they would meet again on March 12th. Mean–while the report that the Heads were moving had got wind. Palmer, of Worcester, who had held aloof from the Tract-writers since the publication of Froude's 'Remains,' wrote a warm letter to Newman. He 'thanked Newman for the tract, which he thought the most valuable that had appeared, and wished it to be known how much he valued it.' He wrote in the same sense to Dr. Richards, the Rector of Exeter College, in the hope that his opinion might thus reach the Hebdomadal Board. Keble and Pusey, as holding professorships, felt it their duty to take some definite action. Keble, who 'had seen the tract in proof, and strongly recommended its publication,' wrote to the Vice-Chancellor, avowing his responsibility for it. Pusey also wrote to him as follows:--


                                                                                                 Christ Church, March 12, 1841.


Writings often appear so different according to the impression with which one first takes them up that I hope I shall not appear pre–suming upon your kindness if I write to you a few lines on the tract, which I understand has been the subject of discussion at your Board, knowing, as I do intimately, the mind of the writer.

His feelings were these: our Church has condemned nothing Catholic, but only Romish errors; yet there are certain opinions and practices, more or less prevailing in Catholic antiquity, having some relation to the later Romish error, which might seem to be condemned by our Articles, as they are often popularly understood.

This would be a subject of great perplexity to some minds, and tend to alienate them from their Church, if she have indeed condemned what is Catholic. Such persons might--not merely be unable to sign the Articles, but--doubt whether they ought to remain in lay-communion with the Church, if she have so done. (I happen to know one such case, which would, as far as an individual can be, be a great blow and shock, where a person's doubts, whether he will remain in communion with our Church, turn on this very point.) Thus, as he has noticed, there are several opinions of there being some Purgatorial process before or at the Day of Judgment, whereby those who departed out of this life in an imperfect state would be fitted for the Presence of God. Are all these (such an one would ask) condemned by our Church? Again, it is very common to hear any high doctrine as to the Lord's Supper condemned as involving Transubstantiation, or Romanists enlist in support of their worship of saints all apostrophes which one may find to departed saints in the Fathers.

Now, of course, you feel that it is an act of charity and duty to facilitate in any lawful way persons remaining in their Church: on other points we are content (and I think rightly) to allow our formu–laries to be construed laxly (I can have no doubt contrary to the meaning of their writers). Were, e.g., the strict meaning of the Bap–tismal Service enforced at once, how many valuable persons would forsake the Church! In the imperfect state in which we are they are patiently borne with. Why should we, not deal equally patiently with another class equally valuable? Why, if a person does not hold the 'Romish doctrine of Purgatory' to be Catholic, should he look upon himself as condemned by our Articles, if he hold the Greek view, or if he suppose that, at the Day of Judgment, those who are saved should pass through fire, in which those stained with much sin should suffer? Or (which is more likely) why should he be obliged to look on the Fathers who so hold as condemned by our Church? The rejection of the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration is tolerated; why may not the, belief of some Purgatorial process?

Forgive my troubling you at this length, but I wished to show how the tract had a practical bearing in relieving persons whose misgivings as to remaining in our Church, or even their scruples, every one would be glad to see removed.

                                Believe me, my dear Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

                                                                    With much respect,

                                                                                Yours very faithfully,

                                                                                                   E. B. PUSEY.

It can hardly be necessary to say that neither the writer of the tract nor myself need any such explanations of the Articles for ourselves; it was written to meet the case of others.

The Vice-Chancellor appears to have replied by saying that if any relaxation of subscription to the Articles were permitted it must be permitted in the interests of Socinianism, and in the case of the first five not less than of later Articles.


                                                                                                Christ Church, March 13, [1841].


I thank you very much for your full explanation and your kind expressions to myself, although you will anticipate that the whole note was very painful to me.

You will not think that I wish to draw you into a prolonged theo–logical correspondence, for which you have no leisure, if I say why I think the principle of interpretation advocated in the tract cannot lead to a relaxation of subscription in matters of faith, such as the five first Articles, which you seem to contemplate. The author says, partly on the authority of Bishop Burnet, that these Articles were purposely drawn up in a comprehensive sense, which has been often repeated as to those which bear upon the Calvinistic doctrines and those on the Sacraments.

To take then these in a larger sense would only be what their authors intended, and would furnish no precedent for taking laxly what they meant strictly. The Four Tutors have fallen into a grievous mistake in representing the tract to maintain that the Articles were directed against a popular system only in the Church of Rome, not against its authoritative teaching or a definite system, whereas the tract, p. 24, speaks of its 'received doctrine and the doctrine of the Schools.'

He conceives accordingly the Articles to be directed against a re–ceived, definite, authoritative scheme of doctrine in the Church of Rome, though he does not think that doctrine fixed by the Council of Trent, as neither were our Articles directed against that Council, being anterior to it.

The writer of that tract has written a postscript to explain this as well as his object in writing the tract, and I hope that your Board will not come to any decision without allowing themselves time to see this explanation, which will be printed very shortly.

Excuse this trouble, and believe me, with much respect,

Yours very faithfully,


The Heads of Houses had met again on March 12th. Of the twenty-six official members of the Board, twenty-one were present. It was decided by a majority of nineteen to two to censure the tract: the dissentients being the Rev. Dr. Richards, the respected Rector of Exeter College, and one of the Proctors, the Rev. E. A. Dayman, Fellow of Exeter College. Dr. Routh, the learned and venerable President of Magdalen, was, as usual, an absentee; but he 'protested very strongly in writing against the resolution of the Heads of Houses'. A Committee was appointed to decide on the terms of the censure, and on the evening of the day Newman was informed of what was in prospect.

On the next day Pusey writes to Keble:--

                                                                                              Christ Church, March 13, 1841.

... The Heads of Houses have appointed a Committee, and it is said mean to issue a programme condemning Tract 90. I have had a kind, but very painful and decisive letter from the V. C., mistaking however the principles of the tract. N[ewman] says, 'I assure you it was a very great relief to my mind when I found what they meant to do. I am quite satisfied.'

But, which is worse, G[ohightly] has been sending the tract to the Bishops, obtaining their opinions upon an ex parte statement: he is said to have received four this morning.

I fear the storm will lie heavy upon us. We must reef our sail, and go softly and humbly.

Pusey never forgot that during the excitement of a controversy certain Christian graces are apt to be lost sight of.


MY DEAR COPELAND,                                              [Christ Church], March 13, [1841].

I also want to talk to you about things. When would it be convenient to you? Could you walk at 3 any day after Monday?

Must we not keep strict watch over our words in this Lenten season, and see that we say not anything which seems like laughing at what the Heads of Houses are doing, or which indicates a feeling of superiority to them? We know not how these things will turn out; there seems much ground for anxiety; and so the more jealously we keep ourselves humble, the fitter it seems.

On the same morning, after obtaining Newman's permis–sion, Pusey called on the Provost of Oriel to ask him to 'request of the Board a delay of their judgment,' until Newman should have published his explanations, which; would be not later than the 16th. Newman wrote to the Provost to the same effect on Sunday, the 14th. On Monday, the 15th, the Board met; and the Provost made a motion to the effect suggested. He found himself in a minority of only three or four. The majority of the Heads were too angry or too panic-stricken to obey that elementary rule of justice which prescribes that the worst criminals shall be. heard in, self-defence before their condemnation.

On the same day Pusey went over to his brother's home to christen his niece. His appearance is described by his mother a day or two afterwards:--

'Without understanding the merits of the case, I am very sorry for this Oxford business, as it makes Edward uncomfortable: he has written to Philip upon the subject: he has quite recovered his cold, and is, I believe, well, but looks otherwise. . . . I never saw him look more wretched: with his emaciated face, he looked older than the clergyman of Holton, who is near my age and with a lined face, only that Edward is not bald.'

The censure was published in Oxford on the morning of March 16th. The Preamble refers to the University Statutes which obliged all students to subscribe, as well as be instructed and examined in the Thirty-nine Articles. It then glanced at Tract 90 as belonging to 'a series of anonymous publications, purporting to be written by members of the University, but which are in no way sanctioned by the University itself.' It then proceeded to declare

'That modes of interpretation, such as are suggested in the said tract, evading rather than explaining the sense of the Thirty-nine Articles, and reconciling subscription to them with the adoption of errors which they were designed to counteract, defeat the object, and are inconsistent with the due observance of the above-mentioned statutes.'

This censure breathes the 'smouldering stern energetic animosity' against the author of Tract 90 to which he has since referred. Or, as Pusey expressed himself, it was 'the vent of a long-pent-up wish to be free of us.' The disclaimer of University sanction for the Tracts was gratuitous, as nobody had ever claimed that sanction. The Tracts were printed and published in London, and none of the contributors, except Pusey (and Newman in one early tract), had ever affixed his initials. If the Heads--so Pusey thought--ever read Newman's explanation they would have seen the injustice of the charge of 'evading rather than explaining the sense of the Articles.' As it was they were condemning, and they knew that they were condemning, not merely Newman but Keble, who 'had eagerly avowed to them that he had given his hearty sanction to Tract 90, and had expressed his wish that it should be published.' Rumour said that the hot haste in which the tract was censured was due to a wish on the part of the Heads to condemn the tract without condemn–ing its author by name. If this was their motive, they little knew the men with whom they were dealing.

'Personally,' says Pusey, 'it would not have been an added pang to any of us to be himself condemned. Each would have preferred that it should be himself. All which any of us heeded was the condemna–tion of any of the principles or truths which we held or taught by any persons invested with any authority.'

However much the Heads may have desired to censure an anonymous tract they were not permitted for many hours to have the satisfaction of feeling that they were doing so. On the morning of the day of the publication of' the censure Newman wrote to the Vice-Chancellor, and at two o'clock his letter was in type.



I write this respectfully to inform you that I am the author, and have the sole responsibility of the tract on which the Hebdomadal Board has just now expressed an opinion, and that I have not given my name hitherto, under the belief that it was desired that I should not. I hope it will not surprise you if I say that my opinions remain unchanged of the truth and honesty of the principle maintained in the tract, and of the necessity of putting it forth. At the same time, I am prompted by my feelings to add my deep consciousness that everything I attempt might be done in a better spirit, and in a better way; and, while I am sincerely sorry for the trouble and anxiety I have given to the members of the Board, I beg to return my thanks to them for an act which, even though founded on misapprehension, may be made as profitable to myself as it is religiously and charitably intended.

I say all this with great sincerity, and am, Mr. Vice-Chancellor,

                                         Your obedient servant,

                                                            JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.

Oiel College, March 16th, [1841].       

On the evening of the same day, within twelve hours of the appearance of the censure, Newman's promised 'ex–planation' of the difficulties raised by 'the Four Tutors' was published in the form of a letter addressed to the Rev. Dr. Jelf. In this letter he shows, first of all, that the four tutors had mistaken his meaning in respect of Articles XXII. and XXXI. The tract maintained that these Articles 'condemn the authoritative teaching of the Church of Rome' on the points in question, but not the decrees of the Council of Trent, since these decrees were not published when the Articles were drawn up, and differ in various respects from other authoritative teaching, both earlier and later, of the Roman Church. Next the writer insists that the tract was written 'for the times,' and for persons who were at that moment exposed to the temptation of joining the Church of Rome, partly on account of the Ultra-Protestant interpretation which had been imposed on, rather than elicited from, the text of the Articles. Finally he expresses his surprise that

'persons who have in years past and present borne patiently dis–claimers of the Athanasian Creed or of the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, or of belief in many of the Scripture miracles, should now be alarmed so much when a private member of the University, without his name, makes statements in an opposite direction.'

Pusey held that Newman's explanation of Tract 90 would have made the Hebdomadal censure impossible in the form in which it was conceived. But it came too late. The Hebdomadal Council was 'substantially a court' of justice in this matter. Yet its members deliberately refused to hear the defence of the accused. In the words of Mr. Justice Coleridge:--

'The Council knew and were indeed directly informed that three individuals, among the most eminent in the University, and most blameless in character, were substantially the persons to be affected by their decree; nor could the Council be ignorant how heavy was the blow which it was proposed to strike by its sentence. The barest justice therefore required, that if any one of them desired to be heard in explanation or mitigation of the charge, reasonable time should have been afforded for the purpose; the more plain the case, the stronger seemingly the evidence, the more imperative in a judicial proceeding was this duty. One can hardly believe that five days only elapsed from the commencement of the proceeding to the publication of the sentence; and twelve hours of delay were respectfully solicited for the defence and refused; on the sixth day the defence appeared. It is obviously quite immaterial to consider whether that defence would have availed, or ought to have availed; a judgment so pro–nounced could have no moral weight. The members of the Board must have been familiar with and should have remembered the weighty lines of the Roman tragedian:--

"Qui statuit aliquid parte inaudit‰ alter‰,

Aequum licet statuerit, haud aequus fuit.ä

'But from judges they had unfortunately made themselves parties; and it was impossible after this that in the course of the subsequent proceedings in the progress of the controversy, they could be looked up to as just or impartial.'

In writing Tract 90 Newman was thinking only or chiefly of some younger men who saw in the Articles, as popularly interpreted, a reason for joining the Church of Rome. But in his eagerness to meet a particular set of difficulties, he lost sight of the effect of his language, while unexplained and unadjusted, upon the world at large. Such an explana–tion was furnished by the Letter to Dr. Jelf, but the effect of the tract might have been in some respects different if the substance of that letter had been incorporated with it.

Those who knew what was going on in the minds for which Newman wrote could do, and did do, him justice. Newman mentions Dr. Hook, Mr. Palmer, and Mr. Perceval as 'gallantly taking his part,' although they, of course, knew less than Pusey and Keble. On the appearance of the Hebdomadal censure Pusey sent it to Keble with a proposal of his own for a declaration.


                                                                                          '[Christ Church], March 17, 1841.

You will be much pained by the enclosed. Newman is very calm: he has written an admirable clear explanation, but the Heads of Houses seem to have cut themselves off from understanding it. One cannot foresee what the consequences may not be. I was for getting signatures to a declaration at once, much perhaps as this:-

'We the undersigned Resident Members of Convocation, Professors, and Fellows of Colleges in Oxford hold that the Thirty-nine Articles are in conformity with the teaching of the Church Catholic, and that some of them are opposed to the authoritative teaching of the Church of Rome; we desire only that they be so explained, not according to the private interpretation of modern individuals; and we are con–vinced that Tract 90 of the "Tracts for the Times,"rightly understood, advocates no other view, and does not tend to reconcile subscription to them with the adoption of any errors of the Church of Rome.'

I have just written this and have no copy. If you approve of it, will you amend it and return it to me: I think something of the kind desirable for the sake of people away from the University, who may be perplexed. [I.] Williams was for waiting, although he thinks that we must come sooner or later to something of this sort, and that people in the country should be attended to. In London nothing else is spoken of; people who read no other Tracts, read this, under the guidance of Radical papers. I did not ask N[ewman] about it, as it is a defence of his tract: his general opinion was 'our strength is to sit still.'

Keble did not take so serious a view of what was passing in Oxford as did his friends in residence.


                                                                                                      [Hursley, March 18, 1841.]

I km afraid I am grown callous to things, or do not realize the mischiefs which are out of my sight--certainly I feel on the whole relieved by the turn the Heads have given to their document. Their not addressing it to the Tutors is one good thing--their not including all the Tracts, another--their not specifying doctrines, a third. I only hope they and the Bishops will not lay their heads together and contrive something more stringent. But it will not be your fault, nor N[ewman's], if they do.

Now as to a counter declaration: there is a great prima facie objection, that it seems to be setting one's-self against the Heads. I think, if it is adopted, something to the following effect may be added to your draught: 'And we respectfully, but very earnestly, deprecate any authoritative enforcement of any other interpretation of them; as contrary to the recorded opinions of our standard divines, and tending unduly to narrow the terms of Catholic communion, and to cause divisions and offences.'

I add this query, as it seems to state the reason both of the tract itself and of our protest, which latter may otherwise' appear to some an act of uncalled-for opposition.

I. should like to know a little more exactly what you and Williams mean by the perplexity of people in the country. Is it that they want to be satisfied about the tract? or to be made aware that it is not Oxford which repudiates it, but only the Heads of Houses? Yours perhaps may answer both purposes. . .

I think this stir must do good, if only from bringing out such an instance of good feeling as Newman's second paragraph in his Letter to Jelf.

On the same day Keble wrote to Newman in acknow–ledgment of a copy of his Letter to Dr. Jelf:--

                                                                                                       [H. V., March 18, 1841.]

I am sure this must do good, and I trust the whole affair will be overruled to do so. As for the Heads, their place must be re–spected. Moberly is very much obliged to you for what you have said of the Church in particular. It has quieted a scruple of his. I send you also a note of Wilson's.

       Ever yours most affectionately

                                                    J. K.

I do not see how the Heads could do anything more innocuous, if they did anything at all. I am rather glad they have issued no direct orders to the Tutors or young men.

Keble, in a second letter to Pusey, written on the same day, dissuades him from the declaration. Moberly thought it unadvisable. The Heads were not the University: The Times had explained that fact to all the world. A declara–tion would oblige people to take a side, who were not ill-disposed towards the Tract-writers, but who needed time for consideration. 'Our strength,' he added, 'surely is to sit still, if we are but left alone.' Upon this Pusey gave up the projected declaration. He had only wished to join himself with Newman, adding:--

'But he can bear the heat of the day alone. He to Whom he commits himself will bring his innocence to light sooner or later. So he needs not the aid of such as I. . . . When the storm is over, people who can appreciate him will respect him the more.'

While thus identifying themselves with Newman and heartily accepting the general position taken up in the tract, both Keble and Pusey used the liberty of friendship to criticize it. In this Keble, as was natural, went further than Pusey. On the appearance of the tract, and before the Heads of Houses had censured it, Keble sent a series of corrections which might 'be of use in a reprint should such be called for, and thought right.' The Tracts had stated that Article XXXI. does not speak against the Mass as being an offering for the quick and the dead for the remis–sion of sin. Keble suggests that the 'offering' should be described as 'commemorative.' Again, the tract speaks of 'justification by inherent righteousness.' Keble would prefer 'a righteousness within us.' Once more, the tract had asserted with reference to Article XXII. that 'the Homily, and therefore the Article, does not speak of the Tridentine Purgatory.'

Upon this Keble writes to Newman (March 14):--

'This is the first thing which has occurred to me as questionable on this revision. Did not the Trent fathers mean the Schoolmen's Purgatory? And was not that different from what the Homily thought of?'

And in a later letter:--

'Did I mention to you that I can hardly tell on revision of the tract what to make of the statement, p. 26, that the Article does not speak of the Tridentine Purgatory? Must not Trent, speaking indefi–nitely, be understood to mean the doctrine of the Roman Schools, which the Article does condemn?'

Pusey, too, writing before the Heads had decided to censure the tract, admits his regret at one or two of its expressions. He cites the description of the Articles as 'the stammering lips of ambiguous formularies.' Such a phrase would surely be taken hold of. But its true explana–tion was quite consistent with the loyalty of the writer who had employed it, as Pusey explained to Harrison:--

                                                                                                                      'March 14, 1841.

'Surely it plainly refers to the passage in Isaiah, and as in that it is implied that the teaching was given in words less distinct because the people were unfit to receive it, so there is something providential and suited to our state in the diminished distinctness or the indistinct–ness with which certain doctrines (as the Eucharistic Sacrifice) are retained in our formularies (as in Williams' tract on the Liturgies). If persons so ill bear our Baptismal Service, how much less would they bear any distinct enunciation of high doctrine as to the Holy Eucharist?'

Pusey, however, told Newman that the phrase, as unex–plained, gave offence to such excellent people as Joshua Watson. He also represented to Newman that the tract might be understood to imply that the Articles had no definite meaning, but might mean anything. Nor was he entirely satisfied with the language of the tract on the subject of the invocation of saints.


MY DEAR PUSEY,                                                                            Sunday night, March 14, 1841.

It is very kind of you to take so much trouble about me. My view is this, that as infants are regenerated in Baptism, not on the faith of their parents, but of the Catholic Church, so the Articles are received, not in the sense of their writers, but in the Catholic sense, as far as the wording will admit. I am far from leaving them without legitimate interpretation.

As to invocation, at first sight it means any calling, but this it cannot mean in the Article, because of the Psalms. Some modification is necessary. The definition the Homilies seem to give is, any act which entrenches on the worship due to God alone. Whether ora pro nobis be such is, I would say, an open question--not indifferent (as you some–where put it) to the individual, but undetermined by the Article.

As to 'stammering lips,' I am very sorry that it has given offence, and will withdraw it in a second edition.

Thanks about Keble. Church and Copeland have found the pas–sage. I suppose I shall trouble you with the proof of my pamphlet to-morrow night or Tuesday morning.

                                                                                                            Ever yours affectionately,


P. S.--I think you said I might address Jelf.

The result is thus afterwards described by Pusey:--

'In its first edition, Newman drew no line as to what Article XXII. rejected, and what it admitted of. He ever shrank from being a leader; and especially he wished not to encourage young men, upon his own well-deserved authority, to go to the verge of what the Church of England did not condemn, although she did not sanction it. In the second edition, however, before any adverse opinion had been ex–pressed, although not before prejudices had arisen, Newman, at the instance of others (partly perhaps my own), supplied this, marking his alterations by brackets.'

These and other criticisms led to some changes in the text of the second edition of the tract, which are indicated by brackets throughout. The reference to 'stammering lips' is omitted, and any language which might have been understood in a sense disrespectful to the Church of Eng–land is modified or abandoned. In the commentary on Article XXII. several new paragraphs are introduced which summarize and define the sense of the general discussion in such terms as to make misunderstanding, as was that of 'the Four Tutors,' impossible; and at the conclusion of the section on Article XXXI. Keble's suggestion is embodied. Newman's Letter to Dr. Jelf further explained all that had to be explained about the point of view of the writer; but both it and the alterations in the second edition left the governing principle of the tract untouched. That principle was that the Articles were not to be interpreted in the light of the Protestant or Puritan tradition, which had so long imposed a false sense upon them; but, in the first instance, by the clear meaning of their own language, or, where this was doubtful, by the general sense of the Church, Primitive and Catholic, of which the Church of England claims to be a part, and to which she appeals.

The Hebdomadal Board, at the instigation of astute advisers, had issued their precipitate condemnation of the tract; and had condemned its writer unheard. They were too wise to submit their verdict for the acceptance of the University through its Convocation. But there was a far more important question behind--What would the Bishops and the Church at large feel with regard to the matter? And to Newman in particular it was of vital interest to know the mind of the Bishop of his own diocese.

The Bishop of Oxford, as was indeed inevitable, was not an unconcerned spectator of what was passing in his Cathedral city. He was urged to take decisive steps against the Tract-writers. The generosity and nobleness of his own character, as well as his sympathies with the general drift of the Oxford School, would have led him to turn a deaf ear to this kind of advice. But he had personal misgivings of his own to reckon with; and he probably did not know enough to do justice to the exact point of view of Newman and Pusey. So on March 17th he wrote the sub–joined letter to Pusey, enclosing another for Newman.


MY DEAR SIR,                                                                                      Cuddesdon, March 17, 1841.

In asking you to deliver the enclosed to Mr. Newman, I take the opportunity of sending you a few lines confidentially on a subject which must have caused you as well as myself deep anxiety.

My letter to Mr. Newman is not the consequence of the judgment passed on the tract in Oxford. I had previously decided to take this step; and I have done it in this form, because I feel great confidence in his readiness to comply with my wishes, and to save me from any unpleasant duty, which might devolve upon me, of a more authoritative expression of my opinion. I feel safe in declaring to you more fully the fears which I entertain as to the possible consequences of the recent publication; and you will understand me when I say that I look with anxiety to its effects, not only within the limits of my diocese, but throughout the Church of which I am a Bishop, and in the purity and tranquillity of which I am deeply interested. It appears to me abso–lutely necessary that steps should be promptly taken for removing all grounds for the alarm and offence which I have reason to believe are extensively felt in the Church. I am convinced that this can be done both more effectually, and in a manner more agreeable to our feelings, by the author of the tract, than by myself or any of my brethren on the Bench. I would not of course wish Mr. Newman or any one to put forth any opinion which he does not heartily believe; but I am convinced there are opinions spoken of in the tract as not Catholic, yet not incompatible with subscription to the Articles, which Mr. Newman does not himself hold, and which he would not desire to see taught by the clergy. If so, these he might disavow, and it might also be in his power to declare certain of the most obnoxious opinions to be opposed to the spirit of the Articles, if not to the letter: for it is their non-opposition to the letter only that the tract asserts. If he could also adopt respectful language (and the more cordial the better) in speaking of the formularies of the Church, he would do much to relieve the minds of many (myself among others) who, with a sincere rever–ence and desire for Catholic truth, have an unfeigned attachment to the principles of the Church of England.

I need scarcely remind you that there are many others, holding in some points different opinions, whose strong feelings on the subject of Romish error have a claim to be treated with consideration. I believe I shall not be referring to one whom you consider hostile to your prin–ciples if I point to the conclusion of an admirable sermon by Bishop Ken, preached at Whitehall on Palm Sunday.

Although my present letter to you is confidential, I should be most willing (in the event of Mr. Newman acting on my suggestions) that he should avow that he did so in consequence of a communication from me.

I am convinced that the principles he has so often advocated will not fail him when called to act upon them, and that he will readily co–operate with me for the preservation of unity in the Church. I have also much at heart the securing to the Church of England the cordial services of men whom I believe to be sincerely attached to her, and who have by many of their writings already done her essential service.

I lose no time in offering these remarks, feeling how much may under Providence turn on the measures adopted by the Bishop of this diocese and by yourselves.

                                                                                    Believe me, my dear Sir,

                                                                                                    Faithfully yours,

                                                                                                                 R. OXFORD.

The enclosed letter to the author of Tract 90. ran as follows:


MY DEAR SIR,                                                                   Cuddesdon, March 17, 1841.

I write with much anxiety of mind and with painful feeling, but when I recollect the kind manner in which you have invariably received anything I have ever said,--and calling to mind your letter after the delivery of my late Charge, when, under a mistaken supposition that a general censure had been contained in that Charge against the authors of the 'Tracts for the Times,' you offered to with–draw any tracts over which you had control, if such should be my wish,--I have the less hesitation in now writing, knowing at all events that what I say will be received in a spirit of kindness, even if you feel yourself unable to comply with my wishes.

In accordance with what I have before said, I shall equally on the present occasion abstain from going into discussion upon various points contained in the tract which has caused so much sensation; but I do feel it my duty to express my regret at its publication, and to state to you plainly, though generally, my honest conviction of its containing [entailing] much, which I am sure is directly the reverse of what the writer would wish or expect from it, but what would in my opinion tend both to disunite and endanger the Church.

That the object of the tract is to make our Church more Catholic (in its true sense) and more united I am satisfied, and, as I have already said, I will not dispute upon what interpretations may or may not be put upon various Articles, but I cannot think it free from danger, and 1 feel that it would tend to increased disunion at this time.

Under these convictions I cannot refrain from expressing my anxious wish that, for the peace of the Church, discussions upon the Articles should not be continued in the publication of the 'Tracts for the Times.' You will not, I am sure, mistake the spirit and feeling with which this wish is expressed, but will consider it as the wish of one who has a sincere personal regard towards yourself.

                       Believe me, my dear Sir,

                                     Faithfully yours,

                                                 R. OXF0RD.

Pusey's lengthy reply to Bishop Bagot traverses ground which has been gone over in previous letters and shows what an important part he played in these negotiations. One passage alone need be quoted in full.

                                                                                                 'Christ Church, March 18, 1841.

: none">                               *                  *                    *                      *                     *

'But indeed your Lordship will not think that I mean to controvert any of your Lordship's opinions, if I mention that many persons, who would be accounted moderate persons, and who are not any way-con–nected with those in Oxford [I may mention in confidence to your Lordship, Dr. Moberly, Head Master of Winchester], have understood the tract in a very different way from that in which the Heads of Houses and the Four Tutors have taken it, or in which I am pained to find that your Lordship has understood it. The unhappiness, I think, has been, that Mr. Newman, having written expressly on the subject of Romanism in his book, and also in the British Critic, took it for granted that his readers would understand this tract in combination with them. He has so often spoken against Romanism, and the specific Romish errors, which he has been thought to countenance in this tract, that he did not think it necessary to speak against them again. And so he came to be looked upon as extenuating them. Again, his argument is throughout directed against popular misinter–pretation of the Articles, which gives the Articles a meaning which they have not in themselves. Thus people explain "General Councils"not in the popular sense in which the term was used, but as though our Article meant to say that Councils strictly Ecumenical could err. Or, in the case of the "Invocation of Saints,"they would include in them such apostrophes to departed friends, as one finds in the Fathers, asking their prayers, which give a handle to Romish controversialists. Mr. Newman began accordingly with saying that "all addresses to unseen beings"were not included in the "Invocation of Saints"which our Church condemns (for in the Benedicite we address the Three Children, and the "spirits and souls of the righteousä); and then goes on to contrast them with those which our Church does condemn. Those who have not seen against what he aimed have thought that he meant to parallel these addresses instead of contrasting them. But the chief source of the charge against the tract has been that he did not bring out enough what be did state in one sentence, p. 24, that what he understood to be "opposed"by the Articles was, "the received doctrine of the day, and unhappily of this day too, or the doctrine of the Roman Schools."Hence the Four Tutors (and I suspect the way in which they understood Mr. Newman influenced many others) supposed that he meant to represent the Articles, or rather Article XXII. as opposed only to a popular doctrine, not to the authoritative teaching of the Church of Rome, and so that persons, who did not hold with those popular views, but did hold with the authoritative teaching of Rome, as held by enlightened Romanists, might sign the Articles. This view was unhappily facilitated by the copious extracts from the Homilies, while the one sentence, which declared the contrary, escaped notice.... Mr. N. knows nothing of the substance of this letter. It would be a relief to him, I am sure, at a personal sacrifice, to do anything which your Lordship would desire in this matter.'

Newman was much less discursive


                                                                                              Oriel College, March 18, 1841.


I am very much pained at your Lordship's letter, from the expression of opinion which it contains, but not at all at what it desires of me.

There shall be no more discussions upon the Articles in the 'Tracts for the Times,' according to your Lordship's wish; nor indeed was it at all my intention that there should be. I need not enter upon the circumstances with your Lordship which led to my writing the tract which has led to your letter. I will only say that it was not done wantonly, and the kind tone of your letter makes me sure that your Lordship does not think so, however you may disapprove of the tract itself.

I am, my dear Lord,

                          Your Lordship's faithful servant,

                                                        JOHN H. NEWMAN.

The Bishop was pleased and indeed relieved by these letters. He wrote a few lines of thanks to Newman, and a longer letter to Pusey. He was grateful for the kind spirit and ready acquiescence in which his suggestions had been received. He hints that he may have something further to say, but in a perfectly friendly spirit. The Letter to Dr. Jelf would, he thought, do much to remove alarm and mis–apprehension. Something further might be necessary; but what it should be he could not, as yet, say. Perhaps Mr. Newman might address a letter to himself. He might be willing to make admissions and explanations to his Bishop, which he would not care to make to opponents within the University. He added:--

'And here, my dear Sir, I must state that you do not quite rightly understand my letter, when you identify it (as you do in a part of your letter) with the published opinions and judgment of the Tutors and Heads of Houses. The University and the Bishop stand very dif–ferently.

'Now, the paper of the Tutors points at heresy--the judgment of the Board of Heads of Houses at evasion which would tend to defeat the Articles; if you refer to my letter you will not find that I do so. My responsibility as a Bishop involves control over those who are to give instruction, not merely (as in the case of the University) over those who are to receive it·.       

                                     'Believe me, my dear' Sir, faithfully yours,

                                                                                 'R. OXFORD.'

On March 19 Pusey wrote again to Bishop Bagot, calling his attention to the important postscript which Newman had subjoined to the second edition of his 'Letter to Dr. Jelf.' He also sent to Newman the Bishop's second letter to him–self. Newman was grateful, but added, 'I earnestly trust he will not ask me to commit myself on points on which I cannot'; and enclosed the following letter for the Bishop:--


MY DEAR LORD,                                                                              Oriel College, March 20, 1841.

The kindness of your Lordship's letter of this morning brought tears into my eyes. My single wish, as far as I dare speak of myself, or speak of my having a wish, is to benefit the Church and to approve myself to your Lordship; and if I am not deceiving myself in so thinking, surely I shall in the end be blessed and prospered, however at times I may meet with reverses. I think of the text, 'Keep innocency, and take heed to the thing that is right, for that shall bring a man peace at the last.'

I assure your Lordship I was altogether unsuspicious that my tract would make any disturbance. No one can enter into my situation but myself. I see a great many minds working in various directions, and a variety of principles With multiplied bearings, and I act for the best. I sincerely think that matters would not have gone better for the Church had I never written. And if I write, I have a choice of diffi–culties. It is easy for those who do not enter into these difficulties to say, 'He ought to say this and not say that'; but things are so wonder–fully linked together, and I cannot, or rather I would not, be dishonest. When persons interrogate me, I am obliged in many cases to give an opinion, or I seem underhand. Keeping silence looks like artifice. And I do not like persons to consult or to respect me, from thinking differently of my opinions from what I know them to be. And again, to use the proverb, what is one man's food is another man's poison. All these things make my situation very difficult. Hitherto I have been successful in keeping people together; but that a collision must at some time ensue between members of the Church of opposite opinions I have long been aware. The time and mode have been in the hand of Providence: I do not mean to exclude my own great imperfections in bringing it about, yet I still feel obliged to think the tract necessary.

Dr. Pusey has shown me your Lordship's letters to him. I am most desirous of saying in print anything which I can honestly say to remove false impressions created by the tract.

Bishop Bagot was in great and natural anxiety, and as on previous occasions fell back on the learning and authority of the Primate. To a letter describing his earlier proceedings with regard to Tract 90, the Archbishop replied in terms which are too general to be of much lasting value. It must be remembered that the Archbishop had not read for himself Newman's Letter to Dr. Jelf, and he was anxious that nothing more should be done in Oxford which would prolong the controversy:--

                                     THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY TO THE BISHOP OF OXFORD.

MY DEAR LORD,                                                                                            Lambeth, March 19, 1841.

I think nothing could have been more kind, wise, and judicious than the course you have taken in regard to the unfortunate tract. In your letter you express your disapprobation of the exceptionable part, and at the same time temper your expressions with so much kindness, that the only pain which it can give the writer of the tract must arise from the reflection that there must be something wrong in the publication when it is deemed objectionable by one whose dis–position is so friendly towards him. This proceeding on your part will, I trust, have the effect of preventing any rash step on the part of Mr. Newman or his friends. I hope also that nothing more will be done by their opponents to prolong a controversy injurious to the Church, or to excite feelings which might have the effect of per–petuating divisions. To secure this point I think we should use our best endeavours.

Mr. Newman's Letter to Dr. Jelf is in this day's Morning Post: I have not yet found time to look at it. I understand it is not con–sidered as satisfactory by moderate persons. 'It is to be hoped that his friends will not pledge themselves to the support of his opinions, merely because they are his, without regard to their correctness. The disposition of generous minds not to abandon a friend when he is involved in difficulties has led at various times to the establishment of permanent schisms in the Church.

                                    Believe me, my dear Lord, truly yours,

                                                                              WILLIAM CANTUAR.

Upon Bishop Bagot's forwarding to the Archbishop the later letters which he had received from Pusey and New–man, the Archbishop wrote again and in more peremptory terms:--


MY DEAR LORD,                                                          [Lambeth], Monday, March 22, 1841.

Dr. Pusey and Mr. Newman have received your communication as from my knowledge of their disposition and principles I expected they would. This is so far satisfactory, and holds out a prospect of a peaceable termination of a controversy which, if continued, would very possibly be productive of incalculable injury to the Church. The passages to which your Lordship refers are very objectionable, and I doubt whether they would admit of an explanation satisfactory in all respects. I am therefore of opinion that it would be advisable to let things rest, at least for the present, rather than to come forward with explanations inconsistent with the apparent sense of the propositions which have given offence, or expressing the same sense, with little variation, in different words.

It would, I think, be unadvisable that your Lordship's name should be connected in any way with the discussion on this matter.

I have this instant seen Mr. Newman's Postscript to his second edition, and as he can go no further in explanation he should, in my opinion, explain no more; but it seems most desirable that the pub–lication of the Tracts should be discontinued for ever..

                     Believe me, my dear Lord, very truly yours,

                                                                        W. CANTUAR.

Bishop Bagot was exposed to all the abuse to which a Bishop in his position, who hesitated to obey popular clamour, would be liable. He was supposed, inaccurately as we know, to sympathize unreservedly with the Oxford writers. He shrank from the course which would have been followed by a man of less generous temper; but he thought that if Newman would write a letter to himself, containing 'a general avowal of cordial attachment to the Church of England, and disapprobation of Romish doctrines (clearly as they might perhaps be deduced from various parts of his other writings) he would himself be exculpated from a charge of indifference and negligence of duty.' The Bishop was constantly receiving very violent anonymous letters from members of the extreme Puritanical party. Pusey, he thought, might reflect that moderate men who were 'thankful for the great, though gradual, good already done to sound High Church principles had been alarmed by the publication of Tract 90.' Could not he and his friends 'rest quietly contented with the good they had already effected?' They 'would receive the thanks of nine-tenths of the sober-thinking clergy, and much of their writings would be a rallying point for future generations. They had to be on their guard against the suggestions of esprit de carps, and they should remember St. Paul's tender–ness for the consciences of the weaker brethren.

Newman, it was urged, was in a difficult position and he had to think of others than himself. But so also, the Bishop considered, was he. The Bishop further thought that while Newman's position was one of his own creation, his own was not. Newman could withdraw from difficulties which were not entailed on him by his office in the Church: the Bishop could not, without unfaithfulness, shrink from those which it was his duty to meet . Yet it might have been remembered that no man is obliged to be a Bishop; and that the responsibilities which gather round the humblest of the clergy are not always of their own choosing.

After his last letter to the Bishop, Newman had been hoping that the storm bad blown over.


                                                                                                            Oriel, March 22, 1841.

Your name has been and will be very valuable to me. I trust the storm will blow over now. All parties seem disposed in this place to do nothing. Of course there will be a commotion in the country, and we must expect two or three Bishops to express them–selves, but on the whole, I do trust, quiet is the order of the day. if so, I shall have said a great deal at very little cost.

But after hearing from Lambeth, Bishop Bagot wrote to Pusey, asking him to come over to Cuddesdon 'for a little private conversation on this painful position of things.' His motive in not asking Newman was 'one of delicacy,' and Pusey had been from the first the channel of com–munication between them. The letter was written on the 23rd, and Pusey went to Cuddesdon on the following morning, the 24th, returned to Oxford in the afternoon, and saw Newman. That which had passed at both of these memorable interviews may best be gathered from subsequent correspondence. The Bishop had urged that the, tract should be suppressed; that the whole series should cease after the publication of two more tracts which were already prepared. Of these one was on the Apocrypha; the other a continuation of Keble's tract on 'The Mysticism attributed to the Early Fathers of the Church.' He further desired that when these tracts had appeared, Tract 90 should not be republished; and that Newman should tell the world that this had been done in deference to the Bishop's request.

Pusey, without exactly urging this, had put it before Newman as a possible course; and had insisted on those difficulties of the Bishop's position which were created by the opinions of 'authorities in London.'


                                                                                            Oriel, In Vigil. Annunc., 1841.

After writing the passage in my projected letter about the Bishop's wish that my tract should be suppressed, and my submission to it, I have on second thoughts come to the conclusion that I cannot do this without surrendering interests with which I am providentially charged at this moment, and which I have no right to surrender.

However the passage is worded, it will be looked on by the world as the Bishop's concurrence in the act of the Hebdomadal Board, which declares such a mode of interpreting the Articles as I adopt to be evasive and inadmissible. At this moment I am representing not a few, but a vast number all through the country, who more or less agree with me.

I offered the Bishop to withdraw the tract, but I did not offer to concur, by any act of mine, in his virtual censure of it, which is involved in its being suppressed at his bidding.

And I am pained to see that authorities in London have increased their demands according to my submissiveness. When they thought me obstinate, they spoke only of not writing more in the Tracts about the Articles. When they find me obedient, they add the stopping of the Tracts and the suppression of No. 90.

And they use me against myself. They cannot deliver Charges of a sudden, but they use me to convey to the world a prompt and popular condemnation of my own principles.

What, too, is to be our warrant that, in addition to this, the Bishops of Chester, Chichester, Winchester, &c. will not charge against the tract, though suppressed? And what is to stop pamphlets against it? Will Price of Rugby be stopped? And one of the Four? And the Strictures? And the Record and the Standard? All this is painful. They exert power over the dutiful: they yield to others.

I feel this so strongly that I have almost come to the resolution, if the Bishop publicly intimates that I must suppress the tract, or speaks strongly in his Charge against it, to suppress it indeed, but to resign my living also. I could not in conscience act otherwise.

You may show this in any quarter you please.

P.S.--You will observe I draw back no offer, but I do something additional, resign my living, to meet something extreme which they do--publish a censure.

P.5.--Tn fest. Annunc.

I add as follows this morning, merely to clear my meaning. I am sorry you should have so much trouble.

1.       The Bishops limited their wishes to my discontinuing any discus–sions about the Articles in the Tracts.

2.       Now they wish me besides to suppress No. 90, which I offered; and to say I suppress it at their bidding, which I did not offer.

3.       Considering the act of the Hebdomadal Board, it will be taken, however explained by them, as equivalent to a condemnation like that of the Heads.

4.       This would compromise principles held by vast numbers in the Church.

5.       And it puts me in a most painful situation at St. Mary's, with both the Heads and the Bishops against me.

6.       Under these circumstances I cannot co-operate with such an act. And if the Bishop were to publish in any way his wish that I should suppress the tract, I should do it, but I think I should resign my living too.

7.       Whether I should resign it if the tract were merely suppressed without the Bishop's wish being published, depends on what I shall see of the effects consequent on suppressing it.

This first letter was followed by a second, more exactly defining the meaning of a single passage in it.


                                                                                              [Oriel] In fest. Annunc. [1841.]

When I said in my letter that if the Bishop condemned the tract in his Charge I should resign my living, of course I did not mean to be so indecent as to require that he should not give his opinion of it in the Charge, but that if it was condemned in the general, or as to its doctrine, I should feel that I had no business in his diocese. I should not be signing the Articles in the sense he meant them to be signed.

Pusey at once wrote to the Bishop, stating what Newman felt with regard to his position, and what he was ready to do, and what he would prefer not to do. The Tracts should be stopped, but nothing need be said about Tract 90. There were great difficulties in the way of stating that it was suppressed at the desire of the Bishop.


                                                                                        Christ Church, March 25, 1841.

If Mr. Newman were to express generally that Tract 90 was suppressed at your Lordship's desire, this would be construed into a concurrence on the part of your Lordship with the act of the Hebdomadal Board, which declares such a mode of interpreting the Articles evasive and inadmissible. So that Mr. Newman would be virtually concurring in, and conveying to the world, a condemnation of his own principles. The act of the Heads is considered as expressing their sense of the way in which the Articles ought to be signed: if your Lordship seemed to concur in this, then Mr. N. would seem to be signing the Articles not in the sense in which you wished them to be signed, and so would feel that he had no right to hold a cure in your Lordship's diocese....

Should it then appear sufficient to your Lordship that Tract 90 should be silently withdrawn, and your Lordship's recommendation confined to the cessation of the Tracts, it would, I think, obviate many difficulties. The sudden and immediate stoppage of a publica–tion so known as the Tracts is in itself, a very decisive measure: Mr. Newman most cheerfully concurs in it. Still, such an act upon authority is something altogether so new that I should think it would alone im–press people very strongly as to the discipline both exercised and cheerfully concurred in our Church.

Pusey followed up this letter by a visit to Cuddesdon the next day. Before starting, Pusey had received no less than three additional notes from Newman.


                                                                                               Friday morning [March 26, 1841].

The more I think of it, the more reluctant I am to suppress Tract 90, though of course I will do it if the Bishop wishes. I cannot, however, deny that I shall feel it as a severe act.

1.       I am convinced that people will alter their opinion very much about the tract. They have already, in a measure. Suppression will perpetuate their first impressions. Is this just?

2.       We know, even as regards those works of mine which are in circulation, that gross misrepresentations are put forth and believed about them: how much more will this be, when a tract is not forth–coming to speak for itself?

3.       This occurred last night. I took up at Parker's some Strictures on the tract, and I saw that they attacked a particular quotation (of no great consequence). When I got home I looked into it, and suspect my objector is right. The state of the case was this: it was the only reference I had not verified. I had lent my copy of the work. I think I then went to our Library, and found the volume out. I then made a note of it, but unluckily neglected it. If the tract is suppressed I cannot correct this.

4. Moreover, it will still be on sale in America and with its faults uncorrected.

5. The evil will be increased if it is imported thence to this country, which is more than probable. The Tracts are reprinted in America.

I cannot deny that I shall feel this suppression very much. My first feeling was to obey without a word: I will obey still; but my judgment has steadily risen against the measure ever since.

If I have ever done any good to the Church, I would ask the Bishop this favour as a reward for it, that he would not insist upon a measure from which I think good will not come.


                                                                                             Oriel, Friday [March 26, 1841].

It is in vain to deny that I shall be hurt and discouraged beyond measure if the tract is suppressed at all. The feeling grows stronger every hour. If the Bishop wishes to break an instrument which hitherto has been exerted for the Church, he may do it; but I am sure he does not wish it. The inclosed is for him, if you think fit. I am sorry to give you so much trouble.


                                                                                                          Friday [March 26, 1841].

More last words. I do think if Tract 90 is suppressed, I shall suppress all the whole set of them from the first, as the editions are exhausted. And I much doubt whether I shall have heart to write any letter to the Bishop at all.

I have no objection to put into my letter that 'the Bishop had ap–prehensions, &c., or more about the expedience, seasonableness of the tract,' saying nothing of suppression.

Pusey arrived at Cuddesdon with the three letters in his pocket, and read them to Bishop Bagot. At the close of the interview the Bishop gave way upon the point which Newman had chiefly at heart--the suppression of Tract 90. On returning to Oxford, Pusey saw Newman and the Archdeacon, with whom the Bishop wished them to confer; and before night sent a report to the Bishop.


                                                                                                 Christ Church, March 26, 1841.


I have seen the Archdeacon and Mr. Newman, and have en–deavoured to communicate to them the substance of my interview with your Lordship to-day. The Archdeacon has arranged to come over so soon as Mr. N.'s MS. is in a state of forwardness.

Your Lordship will be convinced that I found Mr. Newman very anxious to meet your Lordship's views; and I have very good hopes that he will be able to do so. He had no wish that it should appear that the closing of the Tracts was the result of his own judgment, independent of, and anterior to your Lordship's; he only thought that it would be pleasant to your Lordship to mention incidentally that his judgment concurred with or anticipated that which your Lordship gave.

He thinks that by referring to his former correspondence with your Lordship, and his own language in it, and the way in which he had felt and taken your Lord ship's communications, he could in a natural way show that your Lordship had exercised a watchful superintendence over those committed to your care: he proposed, further, to intimate your Lordship's having expressed an opinion on the present occasion, and has no objection to state that your Lordship considered the tract inexpedient or the like (I do not name the precise words, not wishing to seem to prescribe to your Lordship, and more depends on the con–text), so that he were not obliged to convey his own condemnation, by expressing your Lordship's opinions in any such way, as could be con–strued into a theological condemnation of the principles of the tract, or a concurrence with the act of the Heads of Houses. He would also gladly mention your Lordship's wish that the Tracts should be closed, and his own cheerful acquiescence, and that they would at once cease. He might add that he did this most readily, and that others by Mr. Keble and myself were, in consequence, omitted.

I own, I think, with deference, that this will fully suffice to prevent your Lordship's 'course being misunderstood.' It will show that your Lordship, with all kindness to individuals, has been for years in the habit of privately communicating your judgment to them, and that they have received that judgment; that at the present moment your Lordship has been privately in communication with those blamed, and taking measures to prevent any further step which might disturb the peace of the Church; and that at the expression of your Lordship's wish an in–fluential publication, which persons apprehended, was at once dropped.

This is, as far as I learn, the utmost which persons at present wish for: I do not mean that if it were asked them whether or no No. 90 should be allowed to go out of print, they might not wish it; but it has not occurred to them: they have confined themselves hitherto to the wish that the Tracts should stop: they think that this would set persons' minds at rest, who are now anxious as to the turn which they may take, and that as soon as they become a fixed body without any possibility of further additions the excitement about them will cease. For there will be nothing fresh to look forward to, which is the great source of excitement. They will have become historical documents, and things past.

But while what those who are now anxious, are desirous of, will thus be conceded in connexion with your Lordship's wish, I may say that (though most cheerfully and readily conceded, as it is recommended in a most kindly spirit by your Lordship) it is no slight matter. It is just what our opponents have long been desiring at your Lordship's hands. They have been clamouring in newspapers that your Lordship should, as they call it, 'put down the Tracts,' i.e. put a stop to them. It does (as Archdeacon Clerke felt), however mildly conveyed, make a great change in the aspect they will bear in history. It is a very different thing from their having been closed naturally by their authors. It does set a sort of mark upon their close and (one need not shrink from owning) put some disgrace upon it, that they were brought prematurely and abruptly to a close, in consequence of apprehensions entertained by the Bishop under whom their authors were placed, and in consequence of this desire. In another case your Lordship would at once realize this, that if the Quarterly Review were at this instant to be at once stopped, it would be a strong exertion of influence. I do not say any of this as if we were at all pained at this close of the Tracts, but only to illustrate that it is a considerable act of episcopal superintendence, and that no one could doubt of the vigilance and anxiety of the Bishop from whom it emanated. I do not know of any similar instance in which a work so extensively circulated was at once stopped at the recommendation of a Bishop. I do not happen to know of any case in which ecclesiastical discipline has been at all put in force in this way.

But, while the wishes of the anxious would be thus secured, a great concession readily and cheerfully made, and your Lordship's solicitude evinced, it does, I own, seem to me a much further step to desire the ultimate withdrawal of Tract 90. The one act is that of prudential precaution, the other of condemnation. And this of such condemnation as has not been exercised upon works against which the gravest charges are brought. Dr. Hampden's Bampton Lectures were vir–tually condemned by the University of Oxford, and that on the ground of heretical teaching, and explaining away the doctrines of the Articles, yet no Bishop took the slightest notice of it. Mr. Milman's book explains away many of the miracles of our Lord in a shocking way, is read, but passes wholly unnoticed. Books have appeared, and are appearing continually, denying the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, terming the doctrine which our Church teaches a heresy, but no one interferes with or censures them. There is, I believe, no instance of a book being thus withdrawn from free circulation at the desire of a Bishop. It would be a new act of discipline, one which Mr. Newman, with whatever pain, would obey; but still such a one as has not hitherto been put in practice, and which is not put in practice as to works (such as Mr. Milman's) of the gravest nature.

Your Lordship, I know, will kindly excuse the plainness with which I have ventured to re-state what I mentioned to your Lordship this morning. It would, as Mr. Newman said, put him in a very painful position, expose him to much future misrepresentation; for if people so misrepresent us when our books are there to appeal to, what will they not do when they are not, and they may say what they please?

I mentioned that Mr. Newman had no wish to mention that he had thought--not of bringing the Tracts to a close at once, as will now be done in compliance with your Lordship's suggestion, but--of winding them up at the close of this year. Their sudden close, as it is alto–gether your Lordship's act, will thus also appear still more manifestly to be so. Your Lordship will therefore, I hope, forgive my expressing my strong conviction that this step will more than vindicate your Lordship's course from being misunderstood, and my earnest hope that your Lordship may be able to see it in this light, and not feel yourself required to inflict what, though done with all tenderness, would be felt to be a heavy blow.

               I have the honour to be, with much respect,

                                            Your Lordship's faithful and obedient servant,

                                                                                                         E. B.  PUSEY.


But before the Bishop had received this letter he too had written to Pusey. His letter illustrates, in an eminent degree, those features of his character which won for him the warm respect and affection of his clergy.


                                                                                                    Cuddesdon, March 26, 1841.


Since you left I, have, as you will imagine, thought much of our interview, and have read over and over again Mr. Newman's distressed and touching notes with no small emotion.

I cannot put them aside without hastening to relieve his feelings by repeating my earnest disposition to yield the point he has so much at heart--satisfied that a generous mind like his will not allow me to suffer from any misconstruction by such concession. That is, that he will not shrink from a frank and generous avowal that I had expressed my opinion that the tract was objectionable and likely to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the Church, as well as to state (what I know is his intention) my advice that the 'Tracts for the Times' should be discontinued.

I am sure Mr. Newman, if he refers to my first letters to yourself and him, will fully acquit me of any disposition to propose what he now considers would be a 'severe act.'

It was his second letter (in which he twice expresses his fears of being called upon, in any explanatory letter to me, to say that which he might think 'dishonest') which led to the proposal of suppression. In a word--if I do yield the suppression--I feel myself perfectly safe in his hands from any partial or defective statement of my views, and of what I have really said. I am, &c., &c.,

          R. 0.

On the following morning the Bishop wrote again, en–closing a letter from the Archbishop.


MY DEAR LORD,                                                                                     Lambeth, March 26, 1841.

I think the arrangement which your Lordship has made is very judicious, and I trust it will terminate the troubles which have been excited by the 90th Tract. The announcement of the cessation of the Tracts in a letter to your Lordship, such as you describe, will afford the means of retiring with honour, and at the same time place on record Mr. Newman's attachment to the Church, disapprobation of the errors of Rome, and submission to spiritual authority. A letter of explanation, on the contrary, if not quite satisfactory, which it could hardly be made, would have the effect of forcing you to notice its insufficiency, or to appear to be satisfied, when you were not.

Your method of proceeding will, I think, be approved by all sober-minded and wise men. Had you come forward with censure, you might have obtained a temporary popularity, but the effect would have probably been to open a breach, which might have been irreparable: as things now stand, I trust that your amiable intervention will produce the fruit of concord and peace, and leave at liberty a number of men distinguished by their learning and piety to employ their talents in the promotion of religious truth, instead of wasting their talents in defence or explanation of what has been hastily written.

Believe me, my dear Lord,

                   Most truly yours,

                         W.           CANTUAR.

P.S. The part of the arrangement which I think may be doubtful is the publication of a tract on the Apocrypha. This is a sore point with many people and may probably give offence. I believe that nothing is to be found in the Tracts that have been published on this subject: and anything that is prepared on it might be printed here–after, or even now, by the author, in a different form. On the other hand, it is but natural that the promised continuation should be given of the 89th Tract on the Mysticism attributed to the Fathers,--without which the dissertation would be incomplete, and it might be con–venient to publish it as a continuation and not as a separate tract.

Pusey thought that the worst was over. In the subjoined letter he acknowledges the Bishop's letter of March 26th, and the later note which accompanied the letter of the Archbishop.


MY DEAR LORD,                                                                              Christ Church, March 27, 1841.

We do beg to thank your Lordship most gratefully for the very kind note which I received from your Lordship this morning, as also for conceding so graciously what Mr. Newman had so much at heart.

He has no difficulty whatever in adopting your Lordship's words, which are, I think, the same as in your Lordship's first letter, and proposes to insert them in the letter which he is writing to you. He says he has no feeling whatever about inserting words ever so strong, in censure of himself, so that they do not seem to identify your Lordship's judgment with that of the Heads of Houses.

He hopes to finish the Letter to-day, and that it will be ready for the Archdeacon on Tuesday in type, in which way the Archdeacon would be able to read it better, and any alterations which may seem advisable to him or to your Lordship may equally be made.

We have now only to express our deep sense of your Lordship's great kindness to us on this difficult occasion as well as heretofore, and our sincere regret at the pain and anxiety which all this dis–turbance must have caused to your Lordship.

Mr. Newman, to whom I mentioned that I was going to acknowledge your Lordship's kind letter, begged me say everything which could be said of thankfulness for your Lordship's so great kindness and con–sideration towards him.

I trust that everything now is looking to a peaceful close, though there will be some echoes of the storm, and that a bright and calm evening will succeed a threatening morning.

I beg to subscribe myself, with every sentiment of respect and thankfulness,

                                                Your Lordship's faithful and grateful servant,

                                                                                                E. B.  PUSEY.

The above was written before I received your Lordship's note, accompanied by the Archbishop's letter. It is very comforting to see that his Grace sympathizes with us, and agrees with your Lordship's gentle course. I am afraid, I own, of some of your Lordship's other brethren, lest if they seem to take the same view as the Heads of Houses, clergymen under their care should feel themselves unable to retain their cures under their interpretation of the Articles, and so much perplexity be felt, and a slur mistakenly rest upon High Church principles, as though they were inconsistent with holding cures in our Church. (This was what I meant in the immediate place of my letter, in which I seemed to your Lordship to be continuing to speak of Mr. N.) I hope, however, all will be well.

I have not said anything about the Archbishop's letters even to Mr. N., although it would have been a comfort to him to know that he took the same view as your Lordship.

I omitted to say (what I felt certain of) that Mr. N. has been acting on his own judgment entirely in what he has said to your Lordship: he is indeed little apt to communicate his feelings as to himself: what he does is the result of the workings of his own mind, though he does, before he acts in important matters, consult older friends.

The Bishop sent back the Archbishop's letter that Newman might read it as 'a letter containing much both of kindness and caution expressed in the fewest, simplest, and best words.' It may be observed that on the same day the second and corrected edition of Tract 90 appeared.

In order to justify the new arrangement at which he had arrived with Newman and Pusey, the Bishop had sent to the Archbishop the three notes of Newman's which had had so much effect upon himself.


MY DEAR LORD,                                                                          Lambeth, March 27, 1841.

I think Mr. Newman's feelings are natural, and that there is some reason in what he says. The omission of the 90th Tract would doubtless increase the desire of obtaining it, and no set of the Tracts would be esteemed complete by the curious in books which did not contain it. I am therefore of opinion on this, as well as other accounts, that it might be allowed to go with the rest, and form the conclusion of the last volume. The Letter to Dr. Jelf, with the postscript, would, of course, be printed with it, and it would not be amiss if passages from Mr. Newman's publication on Romanism, condemnatory of the errors of Rome, were appended, by way of explaining the real views of the writer.

I am more strongly impressed, on reflection, with the importance of the suggestion in my letter of yesterday, that the only addition to the Tracts should be the concluding part of Tract 89. It should, I think, be numbered, not as a new tract, but as 89, part 2nd, so as to be inserted in the collection before the 90th, which should close the whole. A new tract on the Apocrypha, attributing inspiration in any degree to those writings, would add fresh fuel to the flame, which, under the most favourable circumstances, will continue for some time to burn fiercely.

Of course, I do not wish my name to be brought needlessly forward, but I have no desire to escape any responsibility which I may incur by avowing my approbation of the part which your Lordship has taken in this distressing business. I have mentioned the circumstances as they stood, when I wrote yesterday, to the Bishops of London and Lincoln, and they agree with me.

                                           Believe me, my dear Lord,

                                                                 Most truly yours,

                                                                                     W. CANTUAR.

P.S. Mr. Newman's intended letter to your Lordship would probably be printed with the 90th Tract, and the citations from his work on Romanism might perhaps be embodied in it with advantage.

The Archbishop, it will be remarked, does not commit himself to any opinion on the subject of the Apocrypha; he only points out the inexpediency, in his judgment, of dis–cussing it at the present juncture. Pusey, who was the author of the proposed tract, had not a moment's hesitation about submitting to his judgment.


MY DEAR LORD,                                                          Christ Church, March 28, 1841.

I thank your Lordship very much for your kindness in sending me the two letters of the Archbishop, and for taking so much trouble about it. I communicated freely to Mr. N. everything your Lordship said to me of yourself (feeling assured that your Lordship would wish it), but I did not like, without express permission, to repeat what you had in confidence said of the Archbishop. The first letter has cheered Mr. N. much: the second will yet more; and I hope that he is now much relieved by your Lordship's kindness.

The rough sketch of his letter to your Lordship was finished last night; we thought that the Archdeacon could judge better of it when in type, and any alterations could be made equally. I should hope that it will at all events be out in the course of a week.

I am glad that the publishing of my tract on the Apocrypha has been dropped, and I agree entirely in the Archbishop's opinion upon it. Mr. Newman had no wish to publish the remainder of Mr. Keble's tract, as the whole could have been printed as a book with Mr. Keble's name: the Tracts being so cheap, the loss of having one imperfect tract would do no great harm to persons, and it would imply a more instan–taneous cessation of the Tracts; otherwise the idea, which the Arch–bishop approves of that of publishing the remainder of Tract 89 as a supplement to it, not as Tract 91, had struck Mr. Newman. But the other course of dropping the Tracts at once seems the more complete act, and the most straightforward; and the leaving part of the fabric unfinished stamps the more upon the work, that it was suddenly broken off in cheerful obedience to the recommendation of those set over us.

I do hope that while this act stamps our own principles, it will raise people's views of ready submission, and so inculcate what has been taught in the Tracts, more than themselves. I hope also that the cessation of the Tracts will be accepted as a peace-offering by the Church.

I thank your Lordship once more, most fervently, for your great kindness in all this anxious and distressing business, although we needed nothing to increase our attachment to your Lordship for your uniform paternal conduct towards us.

                                                        I have the honour to be,

                                    With great respect and every grateful feeling,

                                                  Your Lordship's faithful and obliged servant,

                                                                                                            E. B.  PUSEY.

Newman set to work to complete his Letter with the energy and speed which were characteristic of him. He wrote it on Monday, March 29th; on the 30th it passed through the press and was revised by the Archdeacon; on the 31st it was published. It explains the objects with which those of the Tracts which had been especially criticized had been written; it quotes the strong language which the author had used in several publications about the Church of Rome; and it expresses his thankful and unreserved submission to the Bishop's desire that the 'Tracts for the Times' should be discontinued. The Bishop's personal kindness 'would be in itself enough to win any but the most insensible heart.'

'But,' adds the author, 'I trust I have shown my dutifulness to you prior to the influence of personal motives; and this I have done because I think that to belong to the Catholic Church is the first of all privileges here below, as involving in it heavenly privileges; and because I consider the Church over which your Lordship presides to be the Catholic Church in this country.'

Bishop Bagot thanked Newman most warmly for his letter. He praised the spirit in which it was written. He added that Newman 'would not have cause to repent that he had written it'.

The consideration with which Newman and Pusey were treated by the Bishop had afforded a striking contrast to the earlier proceedings of the Heads of Houses. The Hebdomadal censure had in fact created great dissatis–faction among those persons in Oxford who sympathized with Tract 90, the most important of whom was the Rev. W. Palmer, of Worcester College. Mr. Palmer, it will be remembered, had been on distant terms with Newman, and this made his support of Tract 90 more generous and impartial. He was now acting with the Rev. W. Sewell, of Exeter College. Private negotiations were carried on for a week with the Vice-Chancellor with a view to pro–curing the publication of a letter which the Vice-Chancellor had privately addressed to Mr. Sewell, and in which he stated that the Board had not intended to pass any theological censure on Tract 90. It was suggested, more–over, that a disclaimer of any wish to censure the Tracts generally, or what are called Church principles, might be added. All that could be extorted was a statement 'that the Hebdomadal Board had scrupulously and deliberately endeavoured to guard their proceedings against a violation of the privileges either of Convocation or of the Theological faculty.'

Looked at from a distance and taken together, the censure of the Heads of Houses and the discontinuance of the Tracts at the request of the Bishop produced a widespread feeling of discouragement among High Churchmen. They exaggerated the importance of the opinion of the Heads of Houses; and they. did not know what had taken place in the negotiations which had preceded the discontinuance of the Tracts. The prevalent uneasiness was represented by the Rev. W. Palmer, of, Worcester College, in a letter to Pusey asking for his opinion on the merits of a Declaration which accompanied it.


                                                                                                        St. Giles', April 1, 1841.

. . . You are scarcely aware of the dissatisfaction at the present state of affairs which exists in the minds of the advocates of Church prin–ciples throughout the country. They have seen protests, and censures, University and Episcopal, explanations, concessions, the Tracts relin–quished--and it seems to some of them as if people are acting under the influence of a panic. I had a letter yesterday from a man of great abilities and most moderate views, totally unconnected with the Tracts, expressing great dissatisfaction at the Tracts being relinquished at this crisis, and saying that the enemy had only to 'rush in and spike the guns'--that the cry seemed to be 'Sauve qui peut!' I have had letters from several most influential Churchmen in the same strain, and I might mention the name of one who doubts as to the propriety of discontinuing the Tracts which would command general reverence. I merely mention this to show the dissatisfied state of people's minds just at present. They see that all is concession to popular error, and to hostile party, and that in the meantime nothing is done to save Church principles--nothing is done to remove popular mistakes--nothing is done to encourage Churchmen--and some of the most de–serving men in the country are trampled under foot. On the one side all is triumph and ferocity, and on the other all is timidity, and apology, and humiliation. Is this a proper position for the great and influential body who hold Church principles?

The Declaration is, as I have already said, no measure of hostility or of party. It is an expression of opinion at which no one ought to take offence....


We, the undersigned, having learned that the publication of the 'Tracts for the Times' is henceforth to be discontinued, are desirous of declaring our sentiments on this occasion.

While we are by no means prepared to express our concurrence with all the doctrines advanced by individual writers in the Tracts, and while we do not dispute the propriety of disconnecting the University from any supposed sanction of those publications, we cannot but grate–fully acknowledge the eminent service which their authors have done, in recalling the public attention to the distinctive principles maintained by the Church of England in common with the whole Catholic Church of Christ. We are of opinion that the increased reverence and regard manifested within a few years for the Liturgy, Creeds, Sacraments, Episcopal polity, and Apostolical succession of the Church; the greater apprehension of the fearful sin of schism; and the more diligent atten–tion given to the study of Ecclesiastical History, and of Christian Antiquity, are, to a considerable extent, attributable to the patient and persevering labours of the authors to whom we have alluded.

We further avail ourselves of this opportunity to express a sincere and respectful hope that all advocates of Church principles may be impressed with the extreme necessity for wisdom and sobriety in the statement of their views; that no offence may be given to the unlearned, and that the peace and harmony of our Churches may not be interrupted. And considering that indulgence to the corruptions of the Church of Rome is as much to be deprecated as any encouragement of the principles of Dissent, we would express our earnest hope that, in conducting both these controversies, the sound and salutary principles of our own branch of the Catholic Church may be cordially and unanimously adopted and advocated.

March 31, 1841.

The names of persons desirous of signing the above Declaration may be forwarded to the Rev. William Palmer St. Giles's, Oxford.

Pusey sent the Declaration to Bishop Bagot, who thought it 'very moderate and not a whit beyond the strictest justice due,' but considered that 'Church principles do not, at least at this moment, need it.' In a second letter the Bishop explains that 'it is the time alone which causes anxiety.' If it was issued now it might be thought uncalled for. It would have great force, 'if opponents rashly began.'

Pusey had suggested to the Bishop that he himself might write something: he was already contemplating his own letter to Dr. Jelf. The Bishop would not discourage him, but he doubted the suitableness of the time. He thought it desirable that a calm should succeed the last fortnight of agitation, and that Mr. Newman's letter should have time to make its own way (as I feel it will) by its own power.

The Bishop was not at all aware of the feelings which had been stirred in minds for whose anxieties he would have felt sincere concern. Palmer wrote to him in more explicit terms than he had employed when writing to Pusey. It is evident that the seeds of the disasters of 1845 were already being sown.


MY LORD,                                                                        St. Giles', Oxford, April 3, 1841.

yle="text-align: justify; text-indent: 14.2pt; text-autospace: none"> [The Declaration] is intended as an act of justice and of truth. It is intended to soothe the feelings and remove the apprehensions of the large and influential body of Churchmen who are attached to Church principles, without coinciding in all points with the 'Tracts for the Times.' And may I be permitted to say to your Lordship that the feelings of this body ought to be consulted, and that it would be unsafe to let them remain in their present state of uneasiness and dissatis–faction? They have seen violent parties, opposed to their views, triumphing at the course of events lately. They have seen Protests, Censures, University and Episcopal, Apologies, Explanations, the sup–pression of the Tracts, every possible concession made on the one side--and nothing in the way of conciliation on the other. They have seen misrepresentations of the intentions of the Heads of the Church and University spread everywhere. They have heard it boasted, that the Tracts generally, and even Church principles, are censured, and that the 'High Church party' has received a great blow. It seems to them that much has been done under the influence of the dread of popular clamour, and they know not what that dread may next lead to. They know not how far the Heads of the Church may themselves be intimidated, and may commit themselves in a manner injurious to the interests of Church principles. I have had communications from moderate and leading Churchmen, regretting the discontinuance of the Tracts at this crisis, because it may seem like weakness and con–cession to popular clamour.

My Lord, I will venture to add (which I do with feelings of great respect and reverence for the Prelates alluded to), that the present outcry would never have attained its present force, had not some Prelates been induced to take part in it unintentionally. The private and unofficial dicta of Bishops have given confidence to violent parties, who, had a different line been adopted, would have been afraid to move. The Heads of the Church have it quite in their power to suppress this agitation, and to restore the FAIR balance of parties, by approving of the Declaration now put forward. Surely their object ought not to be (I speak with the greatest reverence) to give a complete triumph to one party.

*                *                  *                   *                *                    *

Under present circumstances, Church principles are more or less in disgrace--they are supposed to be viewed with hostility or with distrust in high quarters--they require some support, some encouragement.

              I have the honour to remain, my Lord,

                                      With the sincerest respect,

                                                       Your most faithful humble servant,

                                                                                       WILLIAM PALMER.

The Right Rev, the Lord Bishop of Oxford.

But the Bishop was not to be moved. He told Mr. Palmer that their objects were the same.

'Instead of withholding encouragement, I would do all in my power, so far as became me, to encourage whatever could tend to advance "Church principles"as the fragment of a first debt of gratitude to men who have done so much towards the great and manifest extension of those principles by many of their writings.'

But he added:--

'The point in which I differ from you in your letter, is that of Church principles being now more or less "in disgrace"from recent events. So widely do I here differ, that in my opinion they will not only themselves derive increased weight and extension from recent events, but that their advocates will stand tenfold higher in the opinions of Churchmen generally, after Mr. Newman's letter to myself is left to work its own way for a little while.'

This letter put an end to the Declaration. Palmer abandoned it; he was rejoiced to hear that the Bishop 'did not anticipate any material injury to Church principles from what had lately occurred.'

Pusey's sanguine temper leads him to review the situa–tion as follows:--

E. B. P. TO J. R. HOPE, ESQ.

          MY DEAR HOPE,                                                                                 Octave of Easter, 1841.

You will be glad to hear that the immediate excitement about Tract 90 seems subsiding, although I fear (in the minds of many) into a lasting impression of our Jesuitism, &c.; on the other hand, they who have read what Newman has written since on the subject must be won by his touching simplicity and ,humility. I should hope, too, a good deal will have been incidentally explained which people thought to be done gratuitously. Every one says how Newman has risen with the occasion. K[eble] writes to-day, 'I cannot but think that N.'s coming out as he has in this whole business will do the cause a great deal more good than any fresh stir, of which this tract has been made the pretence, is likely to do it harm. People quite unconnected write to one as if they were greatly moved by it.' The pseudo-traditionary and vague ultra-Protestant interpretation of the Articles has received a blow which it will not recover. People will abuse Tract 90, and adopt its main principles. It has been a harassing time for Newman, but all great good is purchased by suffering, and he was wonderfully calm·

                                                                       Ever your affectionate friend,

                                                                                                             E. B. PUSEY.

During April, 1841, pamphlets and tracts upon the burning question were rained upon the Church in unwelcome pro–fusion. One writer saw in the discontinuance of the Tracts a triumph of Christianity. Another appealed to the Bishop of Oxford against the bad divinity of the Tract-writers. A country clergyman made remarks on Mr. Newman's doctrine of Purgatory. Dr. Stedman, of Pembroke College, wrote a Latin letter from Erasmus to Gregory XVI., which Erasmus might or might not have owned as worthy of his pen.. Mr. Golightly extracted some new and strange doctrines from the writings of Mr. Newman and his friends. Mr. Robert Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke, proposed to construe the Articles by themselves. The Rev. Joseph Rathborne asked whether the Puseyites were sincere. Mr. Frederick Denison Maurice explained to Archdeacon Samuel Wilberforce his reasons for not joining a party in the Church. The Rev. Dr.Thorpe, the well-known Low Church minister of Belgrave Chapel, reviewed Mr. Sewell, of Exeter College, with less of critical skill than of undoubted sincerity of purpose.

There were other productions better entitled to survive the moment which produced them. Of these not the least noteworthy was Dr. Hook's 'Letter to the Bishop of Ripon,' following upon the tempestuous meeting held on behalf of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge at Leeds. Dr. Hook had 'originally determined to point out in a pamphlet what he considered to be the errors' of Tract 90. 'But,' he writes, 'the moment I heard that the writer was to be silenced, not by argument, but by usurped authority, that moment I determined to renounce my intention; that moment I determined to take my stand with him, because, though I did not approve of a particular tract, yet in general principles, in the very principle advocated in that tract, I did agree with him'. He carried out this generous and characteristic resolve at the meeting which has been referred to. For a burst of eloquent indignation, in which he pro–fessed his intention of 'nailing his colours to the mast of high principle,' he was called to order by the Bishop of Ripon and his letter was written to explain his language. In doing this he did a great deal besides: his letter, short as it is, is one of the boldest and wisest things he ever wrote. But his speech, generous as it was, was much too impetuous to be in keeping with the serious issues it discussed; and Pusey wrote to him with an affectionate freedom which their long friendship alone could warrant, with deep grati–tude for his sympathy, but deprecating his use of excited language.

Dr. Hook's reply was creditable alike to the warmth of his heart and his self-accusing humility


                                                                              Dean's Yard, Westminster, April 30, 1841.


...       I am very very grateful to you for the kind advice with which you conclude your letter. Always write to me when I do wrong. I have been sadly sensible of my wicked conduct at the meeting, and much humbled at having brought disgrace upon the Catholic cause when Newman and Palmer were maintaining it so consistently with our principles. But I was taken by surprise, and somehow or other anything like too, great kindness or sympathy is sure to overset me. If I have only time to bring my principles to bear upon my conduct, I can perhaps do rightly: but my feelings of sympathy are so easily excited, that you know not the difficulty I have to control them some–times even in the pulpit. I have all the elements of a demagogue within me. Pardon my saying so much of myself. It is in the hope of obtaining your special prayers on this point.

Still more important was Wiseman's Letter to Newman. The purpose of this letter was to object to Newman's distinction in the tract between any part of the authori–tative teaching of the Church of Rome and the Decrees of the Council of Trent. He was answered by Rev. W. Palmer, who certainly shows by ample quotations that the living authority of the Church of Rome goes quite far enough beyond the language of Trent to justify Newman's dis–tinction. Wiseman rejoined in eighty-eight pages of 'Remarks on Mr. Palmer's Letter'. If he is at least equal to Palmer in learning, and his superior in temper and courtesy, it is not less certain that he fails to shake Palmer's main positions.

Keble also printed without publishing his 'Case of Catholic Subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles,' in the form of a 'Letter to the Hon. Mr. Justice Coleridge'--the heaviest moral rebuke, perhaps, which the Heads of Houses received in the course of the controversy. Pusey was very anxious that it should be published at once to all the world


                                                                                                                           [April 14.]

N. tells me that you think of printing, not publishing, your pamphlet: I most earnestly hope it will not be so: people in London wish to hush matters up, but it is impossible: it is only the question who and how many shall write, how and in what spirit it shall be dis–cussed, what impression people shall go away with. But people must come to a result one way or another: the waters have not been so stirred only to subside again; and, if they did, it would be very unfavourable to the principles of the Tracts. I am writing myself, because one person reaches one set of minds, another another's. Clergy in Worcester have been petitioning for a Convocation; the same was set on foot in this diocese but stopped. The first feeling is against the tract; Newman's letter to the Bishop shows his beautiful 'ethos' but does not enter into the tract; his letter to Jelf satisfies some, but many not; so it seems to me that the more ways the subject is presented to people's minds the better. Gladstone says the excitement in London is by no means over; Tract 90 will be one of the things thrown in people's teeth for years to come, so the more there is to refer them to, the better: they very likely will not read, but still it will be something to provide for those who will, and deprive of excuse those who will not. Forgive this boldness and presumption; but printing, not publishing, seems a half measure, for which I should be very sorry.

Kindest Easter wishes for Mrs. Keble.

But Keble had already decided the matter.


                                                                                    Hursley, Friday in Easter Week, 1841.

You will, I fear, think I have done imprudently, but before I re–ceived your note (for which I am greatly obliged), indeed four or five days since, having obtained leave from Judge Coleridge to address what I want to say to him, I had actually sent my pamphlet, with directions not to publish but only strike off 250 copies. It is still, I imagine, open to me to publish, if it seem advisable, so that if in that respect I have taken a false step it will be easily remedied. And when you see it you will perhaps see that it is so particularly addressed to persons of a certain authority in station that there may seem a fitness in only laying it before them. I have had a good deal of conflicting advice on it, and have at last in a manner satisfied myself with this as probably the least of different evils. .

We hope to have Sir W. Heathcote's newly built chapel consecrated on Wednesday. Newman is coming. You cannot I fear (you know how glad we should be to see you), but you will kindly remember us on that day. I cannot but think that N[ewman's] coming out as he has in this whole business will do the cause a great deal more good than any fresh stir, of which this tract has been made the pretence, is likely to do it harm. People quite unconnected write to one as if they were greatly moved by it.

But the fullest discussion of Tract 90 in the course of the controversy occurs in Pusey's Letter to Dr. Jelf, whose name was thus a second time connected with Tract 90. Dr. Jelf was, in fact, a very natural person to be addressed in the circumstances. He was not a Bishop, nor a Head of a House; he did not represent any such authority as might have already pronounced, or might hereafter have to pro–nounce, upon the subject in dispute. On the other hand, he was learned, widely respected, and sufficiently inde–pendent of the Oxford writers to be treated as neutral, while yet connected with them by the friendship of many years. Pusey accordingly said to him all that at the moment he had to say about Tract 90 in a letter of 186 pages, with an appendix of 41. In this letter he identifies himself unreservedly with Newman and his work.

'I have felt no doubt, [after] carefully and conscientiously examining both editions of the tract, that the meaning in which our friend would have them [the Articles] construed in conformity with and subordina–tion to the teaching of the Church Catholic is not only an admissible, but the most legitimate interpretation of them: it appears to me as clear that they [the Articles] are not directed against anything occurring here and there in the early Church, even though not Catholic, but against the existing system of the Church of Rome.'

After contending generally that the Catholic interpretation of the Articles is the true one, the writer follows Tract 90 in its remarks on all the Articles of which it treats except Art. XXXV. on the Homilies. A commentary on a com–mentary is apt to be an unattractive form of composition; but Pusey's fervour and the practical interest of his subject go far to overcome this disadvantage. While his doctrinal position is that of Tract 90, his language against Rome is stronger and more explicit. Thus he illustrates at length the interpretation of Art. XXXI. maintained in the tract, but draws out much more fully the difference which he conceives to lie between the primitive doctrine of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the sacrifices of Masses. So in treating the points raised in Art. XXII.; the tract, he argues, is right in refusing to admit that any doctrine of Purgatory or Pardons or Invocation of Saints is condemned except the Roman doctrine; but then what the Roman doctrine is, is stated more strongly and illustrated more copiously. The real danger was lest the Article should be understood to deny what was Primitive as well as what was Roman. The popular interpreters of the Articles were jealous against superstition, not against irreverence.

'Thus together with "the Romish doctrine of Pardons"the whole subject of Absolution is often discarded: with Purgatory, the inter–mediate state: with Invocation of Saints, the feeling of communion with them in the one Church, of which they are the perfected members: with the veneration of relics, the feeling that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,"and the belief in the miracles, which, in some cases at least in the early Church, He certainly wrought through them: thus admitting in. fact the very principles of infidelity, and rejecting on a a priori notions what were after all the "mighty works"of God's hand; or together with the un-Catholic veneration of images, people reject as superstitions all outward reverence for holy things and places: they regard the Altar, whence the holy Mysteries of our Redemption are distributed, as no ways distinguished above the rest of God's House, nor that House itself as sanctified by the presence of Angels and the unseen coming of our Lord. The mere Protestant walks up and down with his hat on, "on holy ground,"listening to the solemn tones of the organ at Haarlem.

'It is then, practically also, of moment to distinguish what our Article does condemn as Romish, lest we involve under it feelings, and doctrines, and practices which are primitive. It is of moment to us practically, since it cannot be concealed that many are deterred from practices, which, though not essential, might still be a great safeguard to them, and are countenanced or (under certain circumstances) recom–mended by our Church, by the fear of approximating to something corrupt in the Romish system'.

The passages in this Letter which refer to the Church of Rome, and particularly to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin, were the result of much correspondence and very careful study. Among several acknowledgments of a copy of the Letter to Dr. Jelf which Pusey received from his friends, Archdeacon Manning's was noteworthy. He was 'especially grateful for the parts which are most anti-Romanistic.' His 'whole conscience was made miserable by the frightful turning aside of the affections of men's hearts from the One Object of worship to the Blessed Virgin.' 'Wiseman's letter,' he wrote, 'is to me enough to convict the whole system.'

His parallel of the fondness of children to their mother and obedience to their father with the affections of faith is dreadful.' Pusey's motive in writing these passages, however, was not any wish to throw a sop to Protestant preju–dices, but a sincere anxiety lest one section of the Move–ment should be shutting its eyes to the danger which threatened them from the Roman quarter; an anxiety which was not without its ground in fact. The following passage from his Letter to Jelf clearly shows his motive:--

'The character in which Rome exhibits herself in England much aggravates our present difficulties: her policy is a corruption of the Apostolic wisdom, to "become all things to all, that by all means it may"gain some; "it falleth down and humbleth itself, that the con–gregations of the poor may fall into the hands of its strong ones."Her principle, that there is no salvation out of communion with herself, makes it her first object to draw people anyhow into her communion. The extent, too, of her communion is the tangible proof she puts forward of her being the Catholic Church. This is a sore temptation to her to bend, relax, fall in with unholy ways and usages, which promote this her first end. She would further holiness as much as she can; but she cannot afford to do what is right if it would cause the unholy to part from her. She is obliged to temporize, to lure, to condescend, when she cannot control. In some countries she is suffering the penalty of former sins, having to support the credit of false miracles, which she cannot disavow without owning the past to have been a fraud; while in all over which she has dominion she will tolerate and profit by what she dares not approve; will sit by in silence while men tell falsehood or use violence in her behalf; will suffer visions and miracles which she does not believe to be believed by her people, and to bring gain to her clergy; and even in her own guarded province of the faith will permit unauthorised doctrines (such as that of the Immaculate Conception) to creep in and take the public honours of truth wherever men are disposed to receive them. It is painful to think and speak of these things in another member of the mystical Body of Christ, who once was the bulwark of the Faith and a pattern of zeal, and who still has holy practices and institutions which we might gladly imitate; but Rome forces it upon us by sending among us to steal away the hearts of the children of our Church, boldly denying whatever corruptions our people have not before their eyes; since these things were swept away by the Reformation, and she has been able to begin anew in a spirit more congenial to that of religious minds here, and more approximating to early Christianity.'

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