Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
VISIT TO IRELAND--THE JERUSALEM BISHOPRIC--THE
POETRY PROFESSORSHIP--FRIENDLY REMONSTRANCES.
IN the eventful summer of 1841, Pusey spent July and August in Ireland. He had intended to make this visit in the previous year, partly as change of air for his children, but chiefly to see the working of the Roman Catholic sisterhoods there, with a view to establishing 'an order of deaconesses' in the English Church.
Circumstances compelled him to postpone this plan in 1840 in consequence of his son's state of health; meanwhile they gave him additional reasons for making it. He was particularly anxious to meet Dr. Todd, of Trinity College, Dublin, one of the leading Churchmen in Ireland. He also desired an opportunity of observing the working of the Roman Catholic Church in a country where it could control the majority of the population. It does not seem to have occurred to him that the troubles consequent upon Tract 90 might not be diminished by his visit at such a moment. Pusey wrote in May 1841 to Dr. Todd to apprise him of his intention, and received a warm welcome in reply.
REV. DR. TODD TO E. B. P.
Trin. Coll. (Dublin), May 10, 1841.
I am rejoiced to find that there is a chance of seeing you here this summer. I hope we shall be able to get you to preach once or twice in Dublin, were it only to convince people that you do not wear a Pope's tiara or a Cardinal's hat....
I am very glad that you are writing on Tract 90. That the view it gives of our Articles is substantially true I have not the least doubt, and I think it most important that it should be calmly put forward for the sake of those who will candidly consider the question.
Would it be at all important for your views to examine the popular books of instruction which the Romanists put into the hands of the people here? If so, I will be thankful to be employed in procuring these tracts and popular books for you. It may be well for you to know that many Churchmen here object to Tract 90, supposing it to be a dishonest attempt to strain the Articles; and it is the more important to keep this in view, because the objection is urged by those who on other very important points are with you. Do you know Barnes' 'Catholico-Romano-Pacificus'? It was reprinted in Brown's 'Fasciculus,' and a curious account of the author will be found in Wood's 'Athenae.' It is curious as showing how the Church of Rome treats those who endeavour to promote peace between us, and the work itself is full of learning.
In view of their old relations to each other, and from respect for his office, Pusey wrote to Archbishop Whately to ascertain whether he had any objection to Dr. Todd's proposal that he should preach in Dublin. Whately's reply is a singular illustration of the intolerance of pro-. fessed Liberalism. The 'dear Pusey' of three years before has now been exchanged for the stiff 'My dear Sir,' as marking the distance at which recent controversy had placed Pusey in the eyes of his correspondent'
THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN TO E. B. P.
MY DEAR SIR, Brighton, June 26, 1841.
If you should be called on, upon any sudden emergency, to preach during your residence in Ireland, you have my full permission to do so. I feel sure you have too much good taste and discretion to introduce controversial matter into sermons, in a country already but too much distracted with controversies of its own, in addition to those that are common to it with England.
But unless any such extraordinary occasion should arise, I think it better that you should not preach, notwithstanding the caution with which no doubt your sermons would be framed.
Just now there is, as you are well aware, a most vehement excitement going on, in reference to a certain set of opinions with which your name is mixed up; opinions which many persons regard as so 'contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England', that the maintainers of them ought not to be allowed to remain in the Church.
Now on this question I have not as yet been called on to give any public decision, but if you were understood to be preaching in my diocese with my sanction, many would understand that I had thus given a decision, even though you should not touch on the question; and at any rate, you would probably be made more a lion, and give rise to more rumours, than would be counterbalanced by any advantage on the other side.
You will not, I trust, consider me as pronouncing a censure in saying this, for it is quite contrary to my practice to condemn any one unheard, and I have not as yet had time to look into the pamphlet you were so good as to send me t'other day.
Believe me to be,
Yours very truly,
After this letter Pusey of course decided not to preach in any circumstances. He went by sea from Bristol on July 2, and soon settled in lodgings at Sandy Cove, Kingstown. His early impressions of Romanism in Ireland were not very encouraging.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Kingstown, July 15, 1841.
I am not in the way to gain much information about Ireland. Todd is gone; Crosthwaite, for a time; and though I go to and fro to Dublin, the railroad is so noisy, and I so little understand drawing-out, that I can get little or nothing. There is also nothing in Romanism to strike the eyes, except its miserable slavery to politics and sad degradation, which you know more vividly than I. Right-minded people here are desponding about our own Church's taking the position she should; and what one sees of Romanism dispirits one about it; it seems as though devotion to the Blessed Virgin were to become the characteristic of Romanism, and the more Catholic truth is distinctly recognized among us, the more obstinately do they hold to what is distinctive. One cannot but fear that they hold to it, not for its own sake, but as a means of keeping the poor people and as enlisting human affections. However, God, Who is having mercy on us, may burst their bonds too.
Pusey soon became painfully aware that he was the subject of much silly gossip during his stay in Ireland, and that there were difficulties in his case from which an ordinary visitor, anxious to become acquainted with the characteristic institutions of the country, would be free.
Every one who knows Ireland will understand that Pusey had also many offers of hospitality from its warmhearted people. Dr. Todd, who had betaken himself to a country retreat at Kilkee in county Clare, was especially anxious to induce Pusey to 'see the Irish people in their original state, unsophisticated by any admixture with English or Protestantism' 'It would give you,' he added, 'more insight into the real relative state of Romanism and the Church in Ireland than you could learn from books in a twelvemonth.' Pusey, however, declined every proposal that was not mainly or only religious in its interest. 'It seems,' he wrote to Keble, 'as though visiting was not meant for me.' He found the Roman Catholics sometimes embarrassingly attentive
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Aug. 9, 1841.
'The Roman Catholics have been so civil I have not known what to make of it. I have had to light off being introduced to the one and the other, and they shake hands so cordially, and are so glad to see one! e. g.--a Roman Catholic Bishop of British Guiana.'
Among others he met Dr. Murray, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. He describes the interview in the same letter to Newman:--
... . Dr. M. said that you said that "we agreed in principles, differed in practice."I could not go that length myself, thinking things declared de fide in the Council of Trent which I could not assent to, as the necessity of confession to man as essential to the power of the keys, Transubstantiation, as there defined (i. e. I do not see how to explain their words, though I feel that they continually meant to oppose error, not truth). I hope I did not commit you by saying nothing. He was evidently apologetic, as they all are; spoke of the Scapular (which I had quoted) as of no authority: said I was "justly indignant at many of the expressions in the 'Glories of Mary,' that he did not know who the priest was who translated it."I said something (as you do) that there ought to be an authoritative declaration against such things, that until there was a safeguard against them, it would be a breach of duty in the English Church towards her children to risk their being exposed to them. Dr. M.: "It will be, when overtures are made, to consider what can be conceded"(or words to that effect, implying that the Church of England was to go as far as it could, and then the Church of Rome was to concede what it could, but that in the meanwhile they would do nothing). I said, "This is not our concern, but our Bishops'."Dr. M.: "You are quite right there.”'
'I took an opportunity of telling Dr. Murray that you spoke of [our] differing from [them] in facts, not in practice only, which he received without any surprise. . . . I have been very busy seeing female 'monai', and hope I understand something of them; male there are none, on any real monastic principle.'
Pusey saw also all that he could of the clergy of the Irish Church, not excepting those who were least in sympathy with Church principles. 'I remember,' he said several years after, 'one Evangelical clergyman in Ireland on whom I was calling saying to me rather triumphantly, "I will show you my Fathers."On which he pointed to his bookcase, with three rather long shelves, filled with the Nonconformist divines to the exclusion of everything else. I said, "If these are your Fathers, you must not accuse us of not being true to the Church of England.”'
He started from Dublin on August 31, and leaving Philip at Brighton on Sept. 1, returned to Oxford. It will be remembered that during the whole of his visit to Ireland he had been engaged in that most delicate and painful correspondence with Newman about his relations with Ward and Oakeley. His mother stayed with him at Christ Church immediately on his arrival. 'Edward,' she wrote, appears to be well, but more grave and out of spirits. He spent Sunday and part of Saturday at Garsington, having gone to preach for William [who was at that time curate there]; and I saw him in tears on Sunday.' He was beginning in fact to be affected by that growing divergence from Newman of which he was himself perhaps hardly conscious, yet which gave an increasing loneliness to his already saddened life.
No sooner had he returned home to Oxford than a controversy arose on the subject of his proceedings during his visit to Ireland. That visit provoked some gentle and some violent remonstrances from the ultra-Protestant clergy; but, it is right to add, not from them alone. Certainly they were founded on gossip that was itself baseless, but they considerably increased the strain of the situation in England. The only matter worth quoting with regard to it is a passage from a letter to Dr. Todd, in which Pusey sums up the impression which Irish Roman Catholicism had made upon him.
E. B. P. TO REV. DR. TODD.
Christ Church, Oxford, Sept. 7, 1841.
You may know, perhaps, that we have said that 'an union with Rome (i.e. as she now is) is impossible.' It is right to add, that while I acknowledge the great personal kindness with which my inquiries were answered at the several institutions I visited, and deeply respect individuals in them, the result of what I saw of the opinions of Romanists in Ireland was a painful conviction that Rome had at present no disposition to amend those things in her which make continued separation a duty. We must all long for the unity which our Church prays for, and if we earnestly pray for it, God may again restore a visible unity to His Church in truth and holiness; but until God gives to Rome grace to lay aside her corruptions, and to us to act up to the principles and standard of our Church, it cannot be without a sacrifice of duty--we might even each become worse by an union. If we each grow in holiness, the Spirit of Christ, Which alone can give real unity, will pervade the Church so as to knit it into one; and for this we must long and labour.
Close upon the controversy respecting Pusey's Irish visit followed that which was excited by the proposed establishment of an Anglo-Prussian bishopric in Jerusalem. This proposal, as is well known, originated with the King of Prussia, Frederic William IV., who sent the Chevalier Bunsen to England in the summer of 1841, as a special envoy, to press it on the English Government and Church. The projected Bishop was to take charge of members of the English Church, as well as German Protestants and any others who might he willing to place themselves under his jurisdiction. On the other hand, he was to cultivate friendly relations with the Orthodox Church, and to promote conversions among the Jews. On October 5, 1841, an Act of Parliament was passed to carry this proposal into effect; and it was agreed that the British and Prussian Crown should nominate alternately to the bishopric; that Prussia should supply half the endowment, and English subscribers the other half; and that the Bishop might ordain Germans who would subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles and the Confession of Augsburg.
A Bishop who should supply the means of grace to English residents in the Mediterranean had long been in contemplation; and at a meeting of the Archbishops and Bishops at Lambeth on Tuesday in Whitsun week of this year, it had been resolved, with the consent of Her Majesty's Government, to consecrate a Bishop of Valetta. Bunsen's visit to England extinguished this proposal. The useless and ambitious project which he came to advocate had much less to do with the spiritual interests of Englishmen in the Levant than with the realization of schemes very alien to the traditional policy of the Church of England since the Reformation as well as before it.
Opinion was divided about the merits of the scheme. It was natural that Puritans should welcome the slight cast on the Apostolic Ministry by co-operation with a non-episcopal community like the Prussian, and that Latitudinarians should rejoice in the prospect of an increasing indifference to doctrinal truth which would be promoted by an artificial fusion between Lutherans and members of the English Church. But the authority of Archbishop Howley and Bishop Blomfield was, for whatever reasons, on the side of the establishment of the bishopric, and the consequence was a division of opinion among High Churchmen. Dr. Hook was the most considerable of its supporters; Mr. Newman and Dr. Mill opposed it heartily and from the commencement: Pusey, as will appear, strangely failed at first to see what principles were involved, but eventually joined in condemning it.
His earlier impressions were no doubt due to the attractive influence of Bunsen, his brother Philip's intimate friend. Bunsen, soon after reaching England, met Pusey at breakfast on July 1st at his brother's house, and the accomplished man of the world knew well how to present his proposal so as best to enlist Pusey's sympathies, or at least to disarm his opposition. 'I was led to imagine,' Pusey afterwards wrote, 'that there was already a Church of Jewish converts and of English at Jerusalem, and that the bishop was to be sent over primarily for their sakes.' He knew of course that the rule of antiquity allowed people who spoke different languages, although living together, each to enjoy the blessing of a bishop: and that one bishop might enter territory, within the normal jurisdiction of another, in order to convert heathen whom the bishop of the district had failed to win .
In justification of the alliance with the Prussian Protestants, Pusey was led to hope that 'they would be absorbed into our Church to which they had united themselves, and gradually imbibe her spirit and be Catholicized. I trusted to the Catholicity of our Church to win those who were brought within the sphere of her influence.'
Mr. J. R. Hope, however, who was now in London, heard of Bunsen's enterprise, and at once wrote to Pusey.
J. R. HOPE, ESQ., TO E. B. P.
6 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn,
July 20, 1841.
I have heard to-day upon apparently good authority that Bunsen is actually endeavouring to make an arrangement by which the English and Prussian Crowns shall unite as the Protestant defenders of the Syrian Churches. My informant suggested that immediate steps should be taken to inform the public here of the origin and nature of the Prussian Evangelical Communion, and especially of the expulsion of the Lutherans which accompanied its formation. My own feelings run strongly against the Prussian system, which (though without much knowledge) I have come to consider an eclectic 'Staats-religion,' any union with which would tend to harm us not a little, both by association, and by the character which it would procure us among the R. C. abroad.
Pusey replied as follows:-
'July 24, 1841.
'I trust that our alliance with Prussia, or rather that of the State, will bring them up towards us, not lower us to them. The present King of Prussia, you know probably, is in heart an Episcopalian. Altogether it seems a movement towards something better on the part of Prussia which I should not be inclined to oppose if I could (as far as I understand it).'
During his visit to Ireland, the subject does not appear to have forced itself on Pusey's notice; it is not referred to in his extant correspondence. When, however, at the end of September he visited Addington, he had much conversation on the subject with the Archbishop and Harrison. This conversation left him still well inclined to the general policy of the measure, but doubtful as to the capacities of the nominee to the new See for coping with the difficulties of the situation. Early in October, he writes to Harrison as follows:--
Christ Church, Oct. 3, 1841.
* * * * * * *
Will Mill see the new Bishop of Jerusalem before he goes? He probably knows nothing of our Councils and little of our theology; he is learned in his own way, not in ours: he might then very easily make a mistake, as Bishop Heber did, in recognizing Mar Athanasius, and as the emissary of the S. P. C. K. was ready to do; especially if, as Dr. Mill said, the Monophysites are very subtle disputants. But the fact of a Bishop, sent out by us, entering into communion with an heretical sect, might be more injurious than anything one could imagine: it is true that it would be his individual act; but when we are sailing heavily, and people have to apply themselves, first to stop up one leak, then another, no one knows what the effect of one more leak may be. It must be no slight matter to restore communion which has been so long broken; we may be sure that Satan will do all he can to hinder or mar it; it must be brought about, one should think, with prayer and fasting, not as an easy thing to be wrought by man's will. And therefore, though I look to any openings as cheering signs for the future, I am the more anxious that for the present there should be the utmost circumspection.
Ever my dear Harrison,
Your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
Pusey's sanguine estimate was not shared by some of those earlier allies of the Oxford Movement who had of late held more or less aloof from Newman. It may suffice to name Mr. A. P. Perceval. The Bishops as a body could do little to reassure them, for the reason that they had not been consulted; the whole matter had been arranged with the Government by the Primate and the Bishop of London. The Archbishop, when explaining his action to Mr. Perceval, laid down the principle that 'in the present state of the Christian world we must consider communions rather than localities'--an argument which would carry the Archbishop further than in all probability he intended to go. He added, however:--
'Oct. 27, 1841.
'If the Bishop sent to Jerusalem invades the rights of the Greek prelates, requires obedience from their flocks, or seizes on their churches or possessions, as the Latins in different places are said to have done or attempted to do, that indeed would be a most culpable intrusion. But I cannot see that any such charge will attach to him if he confines his attention to the clergy and members of his own Church. I have not time to enter on questions of this nature….With respect to this particular question, the course we have taken is the only one that is practicable; if we are not at liberty to act without the leave of the Patriarch, we must abandon the plan altogether. The Patriarch would never consent, and if he did, it would be on conditions to which we could never agree.'
Meanwhile Newman, and indeed Dr. Mill, took a much more unfavourable view of the subject. The point on which Newman felt strongly was the proposed alliance with the German Protestants: Lutheranism and Calvinism, he urged, had been condemned as heresies by the East as well as the West. Pusey's old relations with Germany still made him more hopeful of the future, if not more disposed to think well of the present condition of German Protestantism. The favourable opinion, however, which he had at first entertained about the proposed bishopric was shaken by his discovery that the congregation at Jerusalem, which was pleaded as a reason for establishing the bishopric, amounted to about four persons. Newman kept out of Pusey's way at this time, and this will explain their communicating on the subject by letter, though they were both in Oxford, within a few hundred yards of each other. Thus it came to pass that Pusey wrote as follows to Newman on the day of Bishop Alexander's consecration:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Sunday, [Nov. 7, 1841].
Mill's strong language is saddening, but cheering too that there is such sympathy. Give him my best thanks. There is nothing now to be done, for Bishop Alexander was consecrated to-day--i.e. nothing but, as Dr. Mill writes, prayer. I have incapacitated myself for doing anything by assenting to Bunsen's plan, when he explained it to me, understanding certainly that there was a congregation of Jewish converts, and thinking that there was no reason that they should not have a Liturgy and Bishop of their own, as they do not understand Syriac. I did not see the objection to a Bishop of the Circumcision, as I should have thought it had been good for converts from them to keep the law. The movement among the Druses is very remarkable, if sincere. Might not such an application justify our Church, if the Orthodox Patriarch does not object, in sending out missionaries? It is something so out of the recent course of events for a nation to send to be taught Christianity.
I wrote a very strong note to Jelf, embodying all your strongest language as my own, which he forwarded to the Bishop of L[ondon]. Probably such language has not found its way to him before. I certainly could not, nor ought so to have written to him: he was displeased; said that I and my friends laboured under a nervous excitement which prevented our taking a sound view of any Church question (in allusion, I suppose, to the Colonial Bishoprics), that the clause I objected to (the independence of the Bishop) was copied from the Act for consecrating the American Bishops, that it was inserted with a view to Prussia, that in other cases the Bishop probably would take the oath to the Archbishop.
I wrote (on Thursday) a respectful answer, urging the danger and risk of any negotiations with the heretical sects, and of an heretical succession in Prussia. I have had no answer, but hope your language may not tell the less for that in the end.
I wish Mill himself could see Bishop A[lexander].
I do not object to Ward's use of the word Protestant, as far as I have read his article, which I like much; I only object to it when it seems convertible with Anglican, as it seems to me from the context in the passage I referred to, p. 477, 'New Poetry.' Lutheran, of course, would not do except on justification.
Beyond Newman were Ward and Oakeley, the latter of whom continued to write confidentially to Pusey. It is evident from his letters that Oakeley had already, unconsciously, accepted various ultramontane positions with regard to the Church, which were certainly unknown to Christian antiquity. But his letters show also how the unfortunate project of the Jerusalem bishopric was fostering unsettlement and disloyalty among English Churchmen--how much that was precious and irrecoverable was thrown away for the sake of an experiment.
REV. F. OAKELEY TO E. B. P.
74 Margaret Street, Nov. 16, 1841.
Thank you for your kind note. It is the animus of the Jerusalem measure from which I fear so much, rather than the Act itself, which I know admits of being more favourably represented. I would willingly hope and believe all, but when none of our Bishops lift up their voices in behalf of Catholic doctrine, and many even disclaim, and some even denounce it, I have no evidence whatever on the good side to set against the prima facie aspect of their measures; and I will add, the current and uncontradicted account of them.
I am obliged, then, to believe what has been put forward in print, and what is in general circulation, and what appearances seem too fully to justify. And that is this. That the King of Prussia, like his father, wishes to unite the Protestants of his kingdom, diffusing (materially among themselves) in one national Church, with a view to which a common Formulary has been agreed upon, in which even such approaches to Catholic doctrine as Lutheranism has retained, have been merged in vague generalities. (I am told, e.g., that the words used in delivering the Elements are not doctrinal but historical--Christ said; 'This is, &c.') And the subscription which the Lutheran clergy make, whatever it be, is actually consistent with every form of religious and, I fear, irreligious opinion. Besides, the idea of a national Church in itself I cannot but regard as essentially uncatholic. The Catholic Church is not, as I believe, a collection of separate bodies forming an aggregate, of circles as in a river, touching one another, and forming a collection of circles, but one circle which has so entirely absorbed all others into itself that no trace of their independence remains. Now what the King of Prussia appears and is said to wish is to consolidate a Protestant National Church; and looking upon the Church of England as a sister Protestant body, with the advantage of a better government, he comes to us to borrow our form of the government with the view of combining discordant elements, and securing external peace and union among his subjects. All this, I can quite conceive, in a good average Sovereign, and an amiable but not very high-minded and deep-thinking and far-seeing man.
As respects the East, the case, I imagine, is this. It is important for Prussia to engage England in a kind of Protestant league against Russia, who upholds the Greek Church, and France, who upholds the Roman. This would be a special political reason apart from ulterior views in Prussia itself. That there are reasons of this kind at the bottom of the plan, though they may not be the only reasons, I judge from the fact which has been stated as from authority in the organ of the Jews in London (I forget its name, but it was quoted in the Record a fortnight ago), that the negotiation about the Bishopric of Jerusalem was begun through Lord Palmerston, and first obtained his sanction. Newman also, I know, took this view of the scheme from the first. The King of Prussia is, I hear, an amiable man. He is also said to have made overtures to the Archbishop of Cologne, whose persecution for upholding Catholic principles is so unfavourable a note Of the Prussian system generally. I find him therefore much praised in a Roman Catholic publication of 'liberal' principles. What this means I do not know. I wish I could think that it might be taken as a proof of his being, as you say, not anti-catholic. But I am not sure that, taken with the rest, one can honestly, though one would in charity, make much of it.
Did our Church strongly uphold Catholic principles as well in her existing administration as in her formularies, then I would hope good might come of anything she does, though even then I should have thought such proceedings as these had the appearance of doing evil that good might come; of making ourselves 'koinonoi ton allotrion amartematov' in the hope of edifying them; as when e. g. the Church of Rome allows marriages with Protestants in the idea of converting them; or indeed I have heard the same argument used by persons of a religious profession in this country, to justify marriages even with profligate husbands.
Erastianism is, at all events, so very like a form of Antichrist, and foreign Protestantism.
On the 7th of November Michael Solomon Alexander had been consecrated the first Anglo-Prussian Bishop of Jerusalem by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of London, Rochester, and New Zealand. Mr. Gladstone, who had refused to be a trustee of the endowment of the See, was present. Immediately after the event the Archbishop received two protests, both of them documents of great significance. The Rev. William Palmer of Magdalen pleaded against 'the admission of persons of the Lutheran persuasion to the communion of the new Bishop,' as well as against 'the erection of a bishopric within the Dioceses of the Oriental Churches.' He ended thus: 'I therefore most humbly and earnestly and with tears beseech your Grace. to take this matter into your fatherly consideration, and to spare the people committed to your charge.' A more important protest was Newman's; it turned exclusively on the recognition of Lutheranism and Calvinism which was implied in the arrangement. But it was all too late. Archbishop Howley took no notice of either communication; the fact was, as has been stated, that he and the Bishop of London had committed themselves to the Government in August and could not retire from their engagements. The Bishop of Oxford was obliged to repeat to Newman that, as he had not been consulted, he knew too little about the measure to be able to discuss it: 'I really know no more than what little I have accidentally heard or occasionally seen in the papers: I have had no communication from or with any one in authority, and the statements I have heard fall.'
Newman's protest was approved of by Pusey and Keble. The latter begged characteristically for 'a little expression of reverence to those whom you are censuring.' Pusey had now abandoned his earlier view of the subject. He had committed himself to Bunsen in terms which made it impossible for him to make an independent protest; but he reserved what he had to say for his Letter to the Primate, and this he could not write until the Parliamentary papers which bore on the foundation of the bishopric were published. He now knew more of Bunsen's real mind. Bunsen 'maintained that any father of a family might consecrate the Eucharist'--an opinion which shows the kind of value he would have attached to Episcopal ordination. In his view the proposed bishopric was 'the foundation of a new body which was to supplant eventually all the other portions of the Church.'
Mr. Gladstone had pointed out the real object of the bishopric, as described in an article in the Allgemeine Zeitung. It was not to help the Jews or Druses, or the souls of English or German sojourners or emigrants; nor was it for the purpose of establishing friendly communications with the Eastern Church. It was to inaugurate 'an experimental or fancy Church, in which the Church of this country takes the opportunity of declaring its distinctive institutions to be of secondary importance, and joins hands, not even with the Lutheran, but with the Evangelical system, which I imagine in Germany is a term of lower import .'
Pusey's later and final opinion is in harmony with this.
'The whole,' he writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 'is an experiment, and that in so serious a thing as the Christian Church. The miingled Church to be formed under our Bishop, of Lutherans and Jewish converts, has been truly, though painfully, designated an "experimental Church."And what an experiment! to bring together persons, one knows not whom, sound or unsound, pious or worldly, bound together by no associations, accustomed to no obedience, who on the very Lord's Day have practically but one service, and scarcely any through the year besides, never kneel in the public worship of God, sitting when they sing their hymns, standing when they receive the Holy Eucharist,--under Pastors, consenting to receive Episcopal Ordination, but not, as themselves contend, valuing it--if this may even be without profanation,--and make ourselves responsible for them, and exhibit these as specimens of the English Church to the Greek Communion, which has just heard again of us, and is beginning to yalue us.'
To this he adds:--
'Again, still to think only of its effects externally to ourselves, we should have no safeguard that the Bishop so sent, or congregations so formed, shall not proselytize or consent to receive proselytes from the Orthodox Communion. It is not many years, I think, since a report of the Society for the Conversion of the Jews published at the other University spoke of the ill-success in its proposed object, but seemed to think the opportunity of preaching the Gospel to the Greeks no small compensation. The conversion of Jew, Turk, and Orthodox Greek seemed to them a like object. I know not whether the Church Missionary Society, which your Grace has now sanctioned, has yet withdrawn its missionaries from the same Church, which it openly acknowledged were opposed by the spiritual authorities, but, boasted that they were gladly heard by the people. Similar language has been unhappily and is heard elsewhere. But any attempts at "conversion"or connivance in persons forsaking the Orthodox Communion wherein they were baptized, besides encouraging sin, must immeasurably delay the prospect of union with that communion. We ourselves know the bitterness of losing our own children, which a rival communion is stealing from us. Are we to think the sorrows of another Mother, when bereaved, less than our own? We should definitely fix our own principles. Our Bishop cannot at once promote union and schism; we cannot at once conciliate the parent, and rob her of her children; be a friend and an enemy. We must either rigidly prescribe to ourselves our own bounds and remain within them, or give up the opening prospect of ultimate union. We cannot treat the Orthodox Greek Church at once as orthodox and heterodox; orthodox in that we think union justifiable, heterodox since heresy alone can justify secession.'
Pusey dwells on the danger of any step which would tend to identify us with 'the Lutheran body.' He points out, in the indignant language of Tholuck, how Rationalism had preyed upon its very vitals. There had been an improvement, but no such improvement as to warrant the gift of Episcopacy to the German Protestants. Scotland was an example of the mistake of offering the Episcopate to a people which had no longing for it.
'There is at present, even in the sounder part of the Luthero-Calvinist body, not a vestige, among its writers, of the first condition of a sound restoration,--humility; there is rather an arrogant exaltation of their own body, as the Mother of all in the West separate from Rome; an assumed superiority to our Church, not an acknowledgement of their own defects; the few who look for Episcopacy seem to desire it, in order to organize their imperfections, not to correct them; the most religious of their theological organs declare against the Catholic view of it; they. distinctly tell us that it is looked upon not as anything spiritual, but as an outward mechanism; they tell us that the people desire it not ; they refute the notion (and with good ground) that any changes recently proposed among themselves are any symptoms of such longing; there has been the wish to extend Presbyterian ordination, where now there is none; no desire of Episcopal. It is for your Grace and your Grace's brethren to consider how, in such a state of mind, you could, without profanation, entrust a gift of the Holy Spirit, which is undesired, set at nought, repudiated, by those who are to receive it.'
And contrasting the Archbishop's sanguine hope of introducing the Episcopate into Protestant Germany with the unwelcome reality, Pusey continues:--
'Your Grace expresses a hope that this Bishopric "may lead the way to an essential unity of discipline as well as doctrine between our own Church and the less perfectly constituted of the Protestant Churches of Europe,"i.e. that they will be one Church, through the Absorption of the Lutherans into our Church, and the reception, on their part, of all those things for lack of which they are at present imperfect."Their view is wholly different; they look to this same event, only as an aggrandizement of their own body, as "securing to the Evangelical Church of the German nation,”--not as "less perfectly constituted"but--"as the Mother of all Evangelical Confessions, rights commensurate to its greatness, beside the Latin and Greek Churches”; they look to it as an occasion for developing the German Evangelical Church, according to "the Confession, and with the use of the liturgy, of that Church”; and not only so, but they look upon the diversities of Christian worship, as immutable, inalienable; such diversities, among Protestant bodies, belong to the very principle of unity, and are looked upon as upheld by our Blessed Lord Himself.'
Pusey's natural temperament, and his firm trust in God's providential care of the English Church, always disposed him to make the best he could of a mistake or a disaster. So, putting the alliance with the Prussian Protestants out of view, he dwells with satisfaction, though not unalloyed by anxiety, on 'the consecration of a Bishop to represent our ancient British Church in the city of the Holy Sepulchre.' 'We may look,' he even writes, 'with comfort and hope to an act which again gives us an interest and a portion in the Holy Sepulchre, and unites around it representatives of the three branches of the Church Catholic'. Newman could only pray, 'May that measure utterly fail and come to nought, and be as though it had never been.' Here again they were diverging from each other without any suspicion of it, at any rate on Pusey's side; now, as in several recent discussions, but more distinctly, the divergence of sympathies was becoming apparent.
While the Jerusalem bishopric was thus agitating men's minds at Oxford and in the country, another controversy was proceeding with reference to an appointment nearer home. The Poetry Professorship at Oxford had become vacant by the termination of Keble's statutable period of office. 'Keble,' wrote Mr. J. Mozley on Oct. 30, 1841, 'has delivered his last lecture, which he wound up with a strong protest in favour of the connexion of religion and poetry. People have begun some time to think of the next Professor'. So true was this that Pusey was already corresponding about it in September, and he was by no means first in the field.
The closing words of Keble's last lecture from his chair would of themselves have suggested the candidature of the Rev. Isaac Williams, and, accordingly, his name was put forward by the President and Fellows of Trinity College with every expectation that he would be elected. His qualifications for the chair were undoubted. So unbiassed an authority as Mr. J. A. Froude has told us that 'though Williams' thoughts ran almost entirely in theological channels, they rose out of the soil of his own mind, pure and sparkling as the water from a mountain spring'; and that he was a poet who 'now and then could rise into airy sweeps of really high imagination.' The well-known lines in the 'Baptistery' which describe the relation between the actions of men in this life and the eternity which lies before them, by the image of the cataract which freezes as it falls, are pronounced by Mr. Froude to be grander than the finest of Keble's, or even of Wordsworth's. It might have been anticipated that so accomplished a resident would command general support; and at almost any other time this would, in all probability, have been the case. But the claims of poetry were not the uppermost consideration in men's minds at Oxford in the autumn of 1841.
A second candidate for the vacant chair was proposed, in the person of the Rev. James Garbett of Brasenose College. Mr. Garbett was a well-read man, especially in the poetry of most ages and countries, and he had 'a singular power of retaining and combining all that he had ever read, and of developing his own systematized views to the apprehension of others.' If Williams was put forward by his friends as a poet, Garbett might claim to be a possible critic of poetry.
But Mr. Garbett's name had not been in the first instance suggested by any purely literary anxiety to provide for the discharge of the duties of the Poetry chair. Even in September Pusey wrote to Hook:--
'Christ Church, Sept. 14, 1841.
'I am sorry to say that the election to the Poetry Professorship is to be made a party question against Williams. People are canvassing against him, because he is a writer in the Tracts. And so they have set up a person, without any claim, . . . against the author of "The Cathedral,"&c.,--a person of great poetic talent, deep thought, and humble piety. Will you interest whom you can in our behalf, and get them to interest others?'
There is much to be said for the statement that the opposition to Williams was in fact a result of the controversy about Tract 90. A large party among the Heads of Houses had only refrained from challenging the verdict of Convocation because they could not trust it to condemn the tract. Now, however, an opportunity presented itself of condemning Tractarianism by a side wind. If a scholar and poet of Mr. Williams' eminence could be pronounced unfit to be a Professor, on the ground of his Tractarianism, the University would be committed, not in terms, but implicitly, to the desired conclusion.
The first document which introduced considerations of theological party into the contest emanated from Mr. Williams' opponents.
MY DEAR -- College, Nov. 16, 1841.
The Professorship of Poetry will become vacant next month, and I take the liberty of requesting your vote in Convocation for the Rev. J. Garbett, M.A., late Fellow of B. N. C., a First Classman, Public Examiner 1829, 1831, Bampton Lecturer elect for 1842.
There is another candidate, the Rev. I. Williams, Trin. Coil., a writer in the 'Tracts for the Times,' and more particularly the author of the well-known tract on 'Reserve in Religious Teaching.'
The election of Mr. Williams in Mr. Keble's room would undoubtedly be represented as a decision of Convocation in favour of his party; and the resident members of our college are unanimous in thinking that this would be a serious evil, as well as highly discreditable to the University. I hope that you will concur with us in that opinion.
An answer at your earliest convenience would greatly oblige, &c.
The importance of this document is that it disposes of an assertion, too often repeated, that Pusey 'made the first open party move in this contest'. The formal circular announcing Mr. Garbett's candidature was far more guarded, and Pusey replied to it in a public letter which was perhaps the most important document produced by the controversy. Before printing his letter he submitted a rough draft to Newman, who advised him to omit remarks which it originally contained on Williams' tracts and his contributions to the 'Lyra Apostolica':--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Thank you for your remarks. I will gladly drop about the Lyra and the Tracts, though it is a specimen of Williams' quieting, filial character. As for the 'puff' I do not like it myself; one feels, 'What am I to praise Williams?' also it seems 'banausos'to print it; I have written it, and found it tell, which made me put it down; and when I told Jelf of his Church character, he said it furnished him with a 'topos' which would be of great value. People know neither his works nor him, in any adequate degree; Jelf e. g. asked me whether his views were the same as Ward's. This being so, will you be so good as to look at it once more, and see if you can mend it, or whether you would altogether drop it? I do not like giving you this trouble, but it is a joint matter. I. do not mind myself; I would rather not have praised Williams so, but I thought it best to put aside any such feeling, that people might know what they were doing in opposing or rejecting Williams.
After adopting his censor's advice, Pusey, without further delay, sent out the subjoined letter to members of Convocation:--
Christ Church, Nov. 17, 1841.
Understanding that a circular is being sent round to all the members of Convocation, soliciting their votes for the Rev. J. Garbett, late Fellow of Brasenose, and now Rector of Clayton, Sussex, in the approaching election for the Professorship of Poetry, I take the liberty of mentioning some circumstances which may influence your decision, and with which you are possibly unacquainted.
The Rev. Isaac Williams, M.A., Fellow of Trinity, was, before our recent unhappy divisions, generally thought by resident members of the University to be marked out by his poetic talents to fill that chair, whenever it should become vacant. In 1823 he gained the prize for Latin Verse; his subsequent larger verse, 'The Cathedral' and 'Thoughts in Past Years,' speak for themselves, both bearing the rich character of our early English poetry.
To those unacquainted with his character, or who know him only through the medium of newspaper controversy, it may be necessary to state, that the uniform tendency of his writings and influence has been to calm men's minds amid our unhappy divisions, and to form them in dutiful allegiance to that Church of which he is himself a reverential son and minister.
He is also a resident, whereas employments which involved non-residence were considered a sufficient reason to prevent a member of a leading college from being put forward by its Head.
On the other hand, it is a known fact, that Mr. Garbett would not even now have been brought forward, except to prevent the election of Mr. Williams.
Under these circumstances, it is earnestly hoped that the University will not, by the rejection of such a candidate as Mr. Williams, commit itself to the principle of making all its elections matters of party strife, or declaring ineligible to any of its offices (however qualified) persons, whose earnest desire and aim it has for many years been to promote the sound principles of our Church, according to the teaching of her Liturgy.
I have the honour to be,
Your humble servant,
E. B. PUSEY.
There can be no doubt that, as Pusey himself afterwards confessed, this letter was not justified. He was not in a position to ascribe such motives to the whole body of Mr. Williams' opponents. The Principal of Brasenose, Dr. Gilbert, at once put Pusey in a false position by publishing a letter to him, in which he denied that the College had had any such object as Pusey had stated; while he enlarged with pardonable eagerness on Mr. Garbett's literary qualifications, and added an expression of regret that a contest which 'was begun in generous rivalry may be assuming more or less the character of religious division.' Still, whatever might be the motive of Brasenose College, a large party in the University certainly looked upon Mr. Garbett simply as the Anti-tractarian candidate; and at any rate Pusey's anxiety that country clergymen, who were asked to vote for him on literary grounds, should be made aware of the real nature of the contest, was quite intelligible.
If, however, Pusey's first circular was provoked by the religious partisanship which was opposed to Mr. Williams, it could hardly fail in turn to give prominence and acuteness to the theological aspects of the contest. Among many others the subjoined letter from Lord Ashley--afterwards -the Earl of Shaftesbury--will serve as an illustration:--
LORD ASHLEY TO E. B. P.
St. Giles' House, Woodyates,
MY DEAR PUSEY, Nov. 29, 1841.
My personal respect and kindness for yourself are so great that I would readily acquiesce in any request of yours, if I could do so consistently with principle.
But I will not conceal from you, in reply to your letter, that if I do nothing against you, it is because I have not the power.
I have never had much predilection for the peculiar doctrines of the party to which Mr. Williams belongs; but their late opposition to the appointment of the Bishop of Jerusalem (for such he is, by God's blessing) has made me to abhor their opinions as much in practice, as I before feared them in speculation.
Mr. Williams, I have no doubt, is a very amiable man, and if I can do him any private service, you may command me.
Your affectionate cousin,
Lord Ashley followed this up by a letter to Mr. Roundell Palmer, which shows how exclusively, in some minds, theological considerations determined the vote against Williams.
LORD ASHLEY TO ROUNDELL PALMER, ESQ.
Dec. 11, 1841.
I have endeavoured to ascertain the principles of Mr. Williams, and I have found that he is the author of the tract entitled 'Reserve in Communicating Religious Knowledge.'
There is no power on earth that shall induce me to assist in elevating the writer of that paper to the station of a public teacher. I see very little difference between a man who promulgates false doctrines and him who suppresses the true. I cannot concur in the approval of a candidate whose writings are in contravention of the inspired Apostle, and reverse his holy exultation that he had 'not shunned to declare to his hearers the whole counsel of God.' I will not consent to give my support, however humble, towards the recognition of exoteric and esoteric doctrines in the Church of England, to obscure the perspicuity of the Gospel by the philosophy of Paganism, and make the places set apart for the ministrations of the preacher, whose duties must mainly be among the poor, the wayfaring, and the simple, as mystic and incomprehensible as the grove of Eleusis.
These, Sir, are my reasons for refusing my vote to Mr. Williams, and I hope I have given my answer as candidly as you have required it.
I am, Sir, your very obedient servant,
Mr. Palmer's reply was worthy of the occasion:--
'I would wish every one who reads your Lordship's letter, and feels with your Lordship, that, to justify a vote against Mr. Williams, be must have recourse to some legitimate ground of disqualification in what Mr. Williams has himself said or done as a theologian,--I wish every such person, as an act of common justice, would read for himself what Mr. Williams has written, and judge for himself whether you have given a correct account of it. If I can at all understand Mr. Williams, he has not taught, or intended to teach, what you have imputed to him. I say nothing about what he may have taught; that is another matter; it may or may not be open to objection, but, at all events, I deny that it is open to those particular objections which you urge. I deny that Mr. Williams has taught that the "whole counsel of God"is not to be freely "declared"to all who will receive it. I deny that he has taught that there is, or ought to be, a distinction of "exoteric and esoteric doctrines in the Church of England."I deny (so far as 1 can attach any definite meaning to your words) that he has "obscured the perspicuity of the Gospel by the philosophy of Paganism,"or "made the places set apart for the ministrations of the preacher as mystical and incomprehensible as the grove of Eleusis”.'
It may be added that shortly afterwards, at Newman's suggestion, Pusey withdrew his letter from general circulation.
The state of things in Oxford in the middle of the Michaelmas Term is thus described to Mr. Hope by Newman :--
'Nov. 19, 1841.
'Every nerve is being exerted against Williams. Wadham is rising as a college, and has told one of its members that if Williams is beaten, Convocation is to go on to other stringent measures against us. I think all persons should know the exact state of the case. Nothing would more delight the Heads, in their own dominions supreme as they are, than to drive certain people out of the Church. Mordecai can neither do them good nor harm; he can but annoy them. Whether the Bishops, or at least some of them, would like it, is another matter.'
The canvass was kept up through the succeeding Christmas Vacation. Williams' friends had not at first canvassed with the energy of their opponents, and they had much way to make up. But they were sanguine. On Jan. 3, 1842, Newman wrote to the same friend:--
'Are we really to be beaten in this election? I will 'tell you a secret (if you care to know it), which not above three or four persons know. We have 480 promises. Is it then hopeless?... I don't think our enemies would beat 600; at least it would be no triumph.'
But a fortnight later the outlook was less hopeful:--
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
'Gladstone has got the Bishop of Oxford to write a letter to be shown to Williams, to get W. to retire, because the other party are obstinate. So we are thus to be used against ourselves. This is what Tony Forster calls "seething a lamb in its mother's milk."I trust and believe that none of W.'s friends will allow him to yield to a suggestion of this sort. The Trinity men seem strong against it.'
The circumstance thus referred to was not then accurately apprehended by Newman. The Bishop of Oxford's name was attached to a circular, which was also signed by the Earl of Devon, and the Bishops of Exeter, Salisbury, Ripon, and Sodor and Man, and 253 other non-resident members of Convocation. This document was addressed to the rival committees. It urged that for the sake of the Church and the University the contest should cease, and accordingly suggested a withdrawal of both candidates. Mr. Garbett's committee declined to entertain the proposal, unless there was no chance of his success. Mr. Williams' committee was willing to compare promises, and the result of this comparison was adverse to his prospects.
Three days after the above letter to Pusey, Newman understood that 'the Trinity men were disposed to withdraw Williams, provided the Bishop would put his request into writing, and would add that no condemnation of W.'s opinions was intended.'
Pusey was out of heart. He had made a mistake himself. He was vexed at this employment of Episcopal authority. But he wished by anticipation to make the best of a result which he already foresaw.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Tuesday evening, Jan. 18, 1842.
I do not like speaking about Williams: I seem so tempted to put myself in, where I have no business, that I scarcely like doing anything. Gladstone has put us in a wrong position: it is sacrificing us to his own views, and I think taking too much upon himself; an individual has no right to make a Bishop his organ to carry out his own views at such a moment; it is either giving colour to the imputation that we disregard Bishops when it suits us (though he is not Williams' Bishop), or making a Bishop interfere where he is not called upon. I wish some one (e. g. Rogers) could tell him so. One cannot foresee what the moral effect will be; it is giving immense power to individual Bishops, teaching them to use it (as you say) against the obedient, and (unless care be taken to let it be known what is the number of Williams' friends) will be looked upon by many as a mere get-off to save ourselves a defeat. On the other hand, no sacrifice was ever made without a reward. What think you?
Two days after the date of this letter, Mr. Williams' name was withdrawn from the contest. There was a comparison of promises of votes, the result of which is thus stated by Newman
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Oriel, Jan. 20, 1842.
The contest, as you know, is over--921 to 623. This is most satisfactory for us after all the clamour and excitement. The last hundred, I think, came in the last week. Had the election been three weeks later and a poll taken, I think we should nearly have beaten them. Woodgate's pamphlet is doing service. Numbers of the 921 would not have come to the poll.
Alluding to the contest a few days later, Bishop Bagot wrote as follows, in reply to Pusey's expression of a hope that the result of the contest would tend to peace:--
THE BISHOP OF OXFORD TO E. B. P.
Jan. 28, 1842.
Let us now hope that the termination of the contest will tend at least to peace; but, my dear Sir, there will not be peace or any general right understanding, [as to] where you yourselves would lead us, if you cannot restrain those younger men, who, professing to be your followers, run into extremes, but who, in fact, cease to follow any persons who do not go to the same extent they themselves judge to be right.
The problem of what to do with 'those younger men 'was also exercising Newman; but his panacea was not exactly the sort of 'restraint' which the Bishop was thinking of.
'I am almost in despair,' he had written to Hope on Jan. 3rd, 'of keeping men together. The only possible way is a monastery. Men want an outlet for their devotional and penitential feelings, and if we do not grant it, to a dead certainty they will go where they can find it. This is the beginning and end of the matter. Yet the clamour is so great, and will be so much greater, that if I persist, I expect (though I am not speaking from anything that has occurred) that I shall be stopped. Not that I have any intention of doing more at present than laying the foundation of what may be.'
The aspect which matters now wore in the eyes of some Churchmen who were slightly Pusey's seniors, and were living in the country, may be illustrated by a letter from the Rev. E. (afterwards Archdeacon) Churton.. They were not well pleased at the attitude of the younger men; they were vexed at not being consulted; they were increasingly disposed to put an unfavourable construction even upon the most colourless incidents. In its candour, sympathy, warm indignation, and strange misunderstandings, the letter is such an instance of the extreme difficulties of that moment to those who loved the Church of England as to be worth printing.
REV. E. CHURTON TO B. B. P.
Crayke, Dec. 9, 1841.
There is no man living for whose piety and self-devotion I have more respect than I have for yours. And I know that these qualities are eminently conspicuous in some of those with whom you have been most associated. No man can know Williams without loving him. You have yourself formerly in your writings cautioned some of your followers against these excesses. Do you not discern enough in the present time to see that there is tenfold need of such caution now? I say, as I said to you at Oxford, that it is impossible to believe that God's blessing will be with these misguided efforts, in which 'the child behaves himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the Honourable.' You, and Keble, and Newman have been placed, against your own wish or purpose, at the head of a party. But when the party was formed you tried to direct it. In this, I fear, you have failed, and for this reason. Instead of controlling the ebullitions of the young wrong-heads, you have suffered yourselves to be inoculated with their frenzies. Instead of saying to them, what, I do not use the proscribed term of common sense, but what good sense would have suggested, 'Wait and be patient. Study Church History, and read the Fathers, before you write. Try fasting before you preach it. Prepare men's minds for a restoration of ceremonies before you restore them'; you have let them get ahead of you and drag you after them. Hence your proposal of reviving monastic life, and your very unfortunate appearance at Dublin, which has so deeply perplexed our best allies there. Hence No. 90, written not to express Newman's own views, but theirs who would needs venture to the edge of the precipice, to show how bold they were, and how little they cared for the opinion of the old and prudent, which youth regards as timidity. As for yourselves, that which has compelled me, most unwillingly, to forsake that entire union with you in which I found so much comfort, has been that you have seemed to treat these excesses as if they were providential indications for your guidance, and thought it a kind of 'quenching the Spirit' to keep them within rule and order….
This letter is already longer than I meant it to be, but it would be all idle, and worse than idle, if it was written without attempting to point out a remedy. It is then thus. There are great dangers on one side, most unhappy suspicions on the other. It is most true that you have all three formerly, some more lately, expressed your opinions unequivocally enough about the Church of Rome. But you have been to Dublin since, and you know what advantage has been made of it. There have been too many other things, which have alike been interpreted as marking progress to a certain end. May I beg of you yourself to send me a few lines which I can show to friends in this neighbourhood, to express, what I do not want to be assured of, that you are not changed by your visit to Dublin; on the contrary, as you expressed to me, you are more convinced practically of the disingenuousness of the present leaders and teachers of Romanism in Ireland and in this country.
What more I would urge is, that defying all misinterpretation on either side, you should now do what a filial sense of duty to the Church of England, the Church of the Prayer-book, would direct. Put forth some declaration of principles which may be accepted by the Church as final--let it only speak the firm uncompromising language of that good confessor whom you all venerate, the admirable Bishop Ken-- let it say you are resolved by God's grace to live and die 'in the Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith, professed by the whole Church before the disunion of East and West; more particularly the communion of the Church of England, as it stands distinguished from all papal and puritan innovations, and as it adheres to the doctrine of the Cross.'
With regard to the young men, if you have any such among you as you cannot guide, you must let them drive their own way. But they will do very little harm, if you are not supposed to direct them; and if, as I believe, you are not consulted by many of them in what they do, why should you labour under the reputation which they procure for you? I can only say that the Church of all times will know how to make a distinction between those who patiently abide under persecution, and those who do all they can to bring it upon themselves--between Polycarp, and Quintus the Phrygian…
Pusey replied with his wonted patience and mildness:--
E. B. P. TO REV. B. CHURTON.
Christ Church, Dec. 11, 1841.
I thank you very much for your kind letter. I must write briefly, having to look over an University sermon for to-morrow. ...
I agree with you that it is quite unnatural that Presbyters should be directing any efforts in the Church, but if the Bishops will not do it, what are we to do? We must give advice when asked. We have always wished to direct people away from ourselves to the Church, as you say, the Church of the Prayer-book.
I fear there has been a great deal of want of self-command and humility among some young men, and that they have been tempting God and speaking in an unchastened way. But surely Newman's efforts have been strongly to produce the opposite temper, and this is, I hope, for the most part that prevalent. I have been desirous of instilling caution and humility and patience, and pray daily that God would give it us. I do not think that in Oxford there is the unpractical character you speak of, though I hear of it from Hook; people here fast before they speak of it, if they do speak of it.
Newman has just been preaching two very powerful sermons, solemnly warning people who have any hope that the Holy Spirit has been present with their hearts, not to forsake that Church where their Saviour's Presence is. They were on 'The Kingdom of God is within you'. No one has any notion how much he has done to withhold people from forsaking our Church for Rome; and certainly the cases we meet with are not such as are going over from our writings, but in utter ignorance of the principles of our Church--from the Low Church or No Church, not from us.
With regard to Rome, the unnaturalness of our present insulated state, separated from the rest of the East and West, is felt in a degree in which probably it was not felt formerly except by such men as Bishops Ken and Andrewes but there is no wish for a premature union: it is only wished and longed and prayed for, that we may both become such, that we may safely be united. Some feel this more especially towards Rome, on account of the benefits she conferred on us in times past; my own thoughts (as you will see in my Letter to Jelf) have been directed rather to the reunion of the whole Church. I need not tell you that the feelings expressed in that Letter are unaltered by my visit to Ireland. Indeed, as I said publicly in my letter to Dr. M[iley], the result of that visit was to make me less hopeful as to any near reunion of the Church, seeing how little inclined they were to give up what were the most grievous offences in our eyes. There seemed no disposition to amend. Newman never would even think of any terms on which the Church could be reunited; he thinks everything of the kind premature, as of course it would be in us: be works for futurity.
As to monasticism, I do not go further than Archbishop Leighton in what he says about 'retreats for men of and mortified tempers,' which be regrets were lost at the Reformation. I have long strongly thought that we needed something of this sort; it is not Romanist but primitive. Harrison, as well as others, think co-eva1 with Christianity; all minds are not formed in the same way nor need the same course of training. I think it would be a great blessing to our Church to have some such institutions, but this is no new view with me; what I thought when I wrote to the Bishop of Oxford I think now. My visits to the convents at Dublin have not changed my views, except so far that I should not think flow of any formal institution, but wish people quietly to form themselves.
I really must not add more except that I am grateful for your letter, and am
Ever your affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.