Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
RUMOURS AND ANXIETIES--AN APPEAL FROM PUSEY--
MANNING' S FEELING TOWARDS ROME--NEWMAN' S
SECESSION--PUSEY' S LETTER TO THE 'ENGLISH
CHURCHMAN' -- KEBLE' S COMMENTS -- REVIEW OF
PUSEY' S POSITION.
SINCE his resignation of St. Mary' s in September, 1843, Newman had lived in the 'monastery' at Littlemore, surrounded by a few most intimate friends, while the little church of St. Mary' s, Littlemore, was served by the Rev. W. J. Copeland. Newman and his associates spent their time in attending the daily services in the church, in observing the Canonical Hours at home, and in an amount of literary work and anxious correspondence which left no margin of leisure. During the last year of his life in the Church of England, Newman was reading for or writing his 'Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,' and his mind was so far detached from the Anglican position that his secession was at any moment at least possible. Pusey alone, hoping against hope, could not altogether resign himself to recognize what was plain to most; and, as we have seen, went on consulting him as if they still had, as much as ever before, practical interests, anxieties, and hopes in common.
With the keen desire that everything should be done likely to re-establish Newman, it was a great distress to him when, shortly after his return from Ilfracombe in Sep–tember, 1844, Mr. Eden, the new Vicar of St. Mary' s, showed him a letter from Copeland, in which the latter begged to be relieved of his charge at Littlemore. The strain of so difficult a situation might well be too great for one so deeply attached to Newman, yet at the same time so loyal a son of the Church; but Pusey thought that, at such a crisis, considerations of a personal character only ought not to be entertained.
E. B. P. TO REV. W. J. COPELAND.
Christ Church, 15th Sunday after Trinity, 1844.
MY DEAR COPELAND,
Eden has just read to me a note of yours; as you speak so freely to me, I felt that he might, though he otherwise felt it to be confidential. Indeed, my dear friend, it must not be. You cannot estimate the value of your being there to N[ewman]. I dread every–thing, every loosening of every cord, and this is like sending him adrift, and parting with the last thing which holds him to L[ittlemore]. If there were any clear call of duty it would be otherwise; but now, for all our sakes, you must stay. Nobody can estimate the use he is in God' s hands where he is. He has set you down there, as me, I trust, here. We must all have many heavy thoughts; we are under a very heavy cloud; still God may be nearer to us for all that; only let us stay where we are, and we shall see the salvation of the Lord by-and-by. I would have called this evening, but I say things so badly. One' s heart is half-broken, and all these moves are like shaking a broken limb. So pray, you must stay on.
God bless and comfort you.
Your very affectionate friend,
E. B. PUSEY.
Copeland obeyed Pusey and remained. But another anxiety followed. Mr. A. J. Christie, Fellow of Oriel College, had intended to take Holy Orders at the end of 1844. He had been a pupil of Pusey, and Pusey was greatly attached to him, not merely on account of his marked ability, but for higher reasons which a singularly elevated and attractive character could not but suggest. Mr. Christie had apparently, after the fashion of perplexed young men of that time, been asking advice in very various quarters, and had at last become much perplexed as to whether he should be ordained at all.
'I did not tell him,' wrote Newman to Pusey on Oct. 12, 'what I think, that if he goes into our orders, he will one day be sorry for it. But why I think this is a matter of impression, and I cannot give grounds. I certainly do not think he can possibly sign our Articles, but he thinks he can. He goes with Ward; I cannot.'
Pusey' s love and reverence for Newman--his inability to think that any real divergence of conviction was possible--prevented him from seeing that they were really looking at the question from different points of view.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Saturday evening, Oct. 12, 1844.
What you say must decide me not to say anything to C[hristie], grievous as it is, in so great a degree to lose his direct services for our Church. I asked the Bishop, not without the secret anxiety one has about everything, but still with the faith that all would come right. However, now he has, of his own mind, resigned it (though it costs him a good deal, and more as the time of final decision approaches), I must not, dissuade him against your 'impression,' who see so much further, that 'he would one day be sorry for it.'
So, 1 have done. But I wish you would think whether, this resigned, Medicine is the best line for him. If things go on well, and he is led on in the line which his publication of S. Ambr. de Virg. points to, he might, in a single state, do good service as a physician of the poor (perhaps in some such establishment as, by God' s blessing, Holy Cross may become). Else Instruction seems more his line. He wishes to do anything you, or you and I, might think best for him. He seems to have no preference for Medicine, and he would have a great deal very revolting to go through. He would like you to say what you think best for him.
I have nothing more to say now, thank you.
Pusey was too uncomfortable to let the matter rest. Five days afterwards he wrote again to Newman.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Thursday night [Oct. 17, 1844].
Christie called upon me by appointment after I saw you, and his determination had given me such a pang yesterday that I could not help talking with him about it. I could not find from him, although I asked him plainly, any reason why he should not be ordained, nor that he went further than myself as far as appeared without going into the details of each doctrine.
Your strong expression staggered me, and I should not think myself fit to think one way when you think another; still, I should like to know more what you think best for Christie, in whom, as a pupil and on other grounds, I have so much interest. It seems so sad for such services to be lost, and hopes which he himself has had as long as he can recollect, and which, so one might hope, were drawings, to come to nothing.
If you are not coming soon into Oxford, I should like to walk out to talk with you.
It was inevitable that reports about Newman should be in circulation; the current gossip of Oxford, or rather of Puritan Oxford, is described by an authority on the subject, Mr. Golightly.
REV. C. P. GOLIGHTLY TO REV. W. S. BRICKNELL.
MY DEAR BRICKNELL, Oxford, Friday, Nov 1, 1844.
It is possible that you may have already heard from some other correspondent the reports prevailing here. It is all over the University that Newman, Ward, Oakeley, Lewis, and others are going over to Rome immediately. A great stir is taking place undoubtedly. It is reported to-day that Newman is already gone.
All this is uncertain. I have however ascertained one very im–portant fact, that Newman has written to Isaac Williams to say that it is 'impossible for him to continue in so fallen a Church.' Williams has cut the party, and wishes Newman' s intention to be known. He told this to Ley of B.N.C., a man of good character, and brother of a quondam Fellow of Trinity, a friend of Williams; and my informant has twice called on Ley, and for my satisfaction heard the statement from his own lips.
Thus much is quite certain; and, if you can spare the time, I should much like you to come in here on Monday, and dine and sleep at my house. The Tablet, which has a long and curious article upon the Puseyite Movement, intimates, 'on the authority of a forthcoming pamphlet,' that Pusey has been brought up to the same point as Newman and Ward. Should Pusey secede with them, my calculation is that thirty Masters of Arts, and in all perhaps 100 members of our Church, would turn Romanists by the end of the year.
Immediately upon the secession of the party I conceive that Newman and Wiseman would each publish an artful pamphlet to catch waverers, and that the latter in his will cull from the Bishops' Charges all the compliments that they have paid to the learning, ability, and piety of the party.
Believe me, yours most truly,
C. P. GOLIGHTLY.
I wish to consult you not only upon the general subject, but more particularly as to whether anything or what should be written to the papers at Once.
Nov. 1, 1844.
P.S.--I thought perhaps they might be entering the Communion of Saints on All Saints' Day.
The reports. about Newman found their way Into the London papers on November 2, and they caused, as was inevitable, a widespread perplexity. Among the letters which Pusey had to write with reference to this perplexity, the subjoined is remarkable. It contains an account of Newman' s 'despondency,' as Pusey now conceived of it.
E. B. P. TO REV. PREBENDARY HENDERSON.
[Christ Church], Nov. 14, 1844.
MY DEAR HENDERSON,
You are quite right in thinking that N[ewman] has no feelings drawing him away from us: all his feelings and sympathies have been for our Church: he has toiled for it as no other has, constructed defences for it, and brought out her system, as no other could. What I fear is a deep and deepening despondency about her, whether, with all the evils so rife in her, the tolerance of heresy and the denial of truth, she is indeed part of God' s Church. From time to time he seems encouraged by tokens of God' s grace vouchsafed in her, but the tide sets the other way: he is very heavy-minded. He does feel sympathy very much, or the want of it: he has felt very much what has been said of late: he said the other day, 'I have a literal heartache.' But it is not this, I believe, which has been doing the mischief, but, what you say, the tolerance of heresy. He seems to me to have the keenest and most reverent perception of the offensive–ness of heresy, that I ever witnessed. It is something quite of a different kind from anything that I ever saw elsewhere; I know not how to convey the thought. It is a sort of reverent shrinking from it, as one might conceive in a very pure mind from something defiling. It seems even to affect his frame, as one might imagine 'a sword piercing,' a pain shooting through every part.
Of course I do not mean to blame our Bishops; but in the habits in which we, and much more they, were brought up, the mind was directed to certain gross forms of heresy, such as the Socinian, and scarcely realized the others at all--thought of them as something abstract, not being brought in contact with them, or seeing their effects. Thus, in America, a Nestorian Bishop was actually recognized by some of our Bishops, and in England very unguarded language has been used about the heretical bodies in the East. We are so practical a people, that we can hardly see a thing to be wrong which we do not see working ill. Hence, people even who assent to the word 'Theotokos' , often cannot see any great harm in its denial, because they do not see its bearings. Then, too, we are so inured to our existing evils that we do not feel them acutely. We have been so accustomed to hear the Sacraments denied, that it hardly seems to strike our Bishops, when 500 clergy (I think) sign their denial of them. On the other, hand, anything new does strike us. And thence the anomaly of great apprehension expressed, all along, as to what has been taught from this place, while glaring heresy passes unnoticed, Thus the Bishop of Gloucester leaves unnoticed Mr. Close and all his profaneness, and his public denial of the word 'Theotokos' , but renews what he had said three years ago about persons who, to say no more, are earnest about the Faith. I know he [Newman] felt this very much. Then as to myself, I know he looks on the silence of the Bishops as a confirmation of my condemnation, and a tacit giving up of the truth. I trust something boldly said of this would do good I should have been most glad too if anything could have been said publicly about his great services to the Church.
But after all, our great resource must be prayer. Some of us proposed to ask any earnest persons we could to use some earnest prayers daily, with reference to the distractions of Our Church and those distressed in her and about her. Tickell' s loss, which is a very sore one, is ground enough for this. I thought of, as a groundwork the use of the Lord' s Prayer three times daily in honour of the Holy Trinity, either at once or at three 'Hours ' with this special intention, with the De Profundis. The object is that the prayer being short should be earnest, concentrated, persevering. Individuals could add more. Copeland thought of the Collect for Whit-Sunday. Tell me what you think, and ask whom you can, asking them to ask others, laying a stress on the prayers being very earnest. We might obtain an army of prayer and then might hope.
God be with you ever.
E. B. P.
How profoundly men' s minds were moved by the reports that were abroad may be inferred from Dr. Hook' s sub-joined letter to Pusey, a letter in which the writer' s fervid and impetuous character betrays him into some expressions which his better judgment would have withheld.
REV. DR. HOOK TO E. B. P.
MY DEAR FRIEND, Leeds, Nov. 23, 1844.
* * * *
I am so very glad and thankful that Newman has been saved from this downfall: may he be still preserved from the fangs of Satan. Although I am quite convinced that the number of Romanizers is very small, yet there are several persons who would follow Newman, and I should myself fear that any person going from light to darkness would endanger his salvation. I should fear that it would be scarcely possible for any one who should apostatize from the only true Church of God in this country to the popish sect, to escape perdition: having yielded to Satan in one temptation he will go on sinking deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit. You will readily believe, therefore, that in your proposal to pray for these poor persons now under the temptation of Satan, I shall cordially acquiesce.
For you and Newman I make very great allowance. You have been sorely persecuted: you have been unjustly used. If you are really, what we have always given you both the credit of being, holy men, you will be preserved from this awful downfall to which Satan is alluring you. All my letters concur in pitying both you and Newman, but they think that in his case, he has not had strength or grace to stand the fiery trial: he has been sorely tried: we thought that, like a saint, he would have triumphed over the temptation. It is now supposed that he is embittered against his own Church: and by his embittered spirit his eyes have been blinded so that he cannot see the soul-destroying errors of the Romish sect. It is predicted that there will be a falling away ere Antichrist comes. Romanism is preparing the way for infidelity, and I do believe that Christianity will at last be reduced to a very small number of persons, a compact body of holy men prepared to resist Antichrist, and to show when our Lord shall appear that there still is faith upon earth, although it has nearly disappeared. I look therefore not to any great re-union of the Catholic Body, but to the improvement of our own Church that it may be the Body prepared for our Lord' s reception.
* * * *
Yours most affectionately,
W. F. HOOK.
Pusey could not acquiesce in Hook' s language about the Church of Rome. It is not necessary to admit her claims because we hesitate to describe her as Antichrist.
E. B. P. TO REV. DR. HOOK.
[Ch. Ch., Nov. 24], 1844.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
I am frightened at your calling Rome Antichrist, or a fore–runner of it. I believe Antichrist will be infidel and arise out of what calls itself Protestantism, and that Rome and England will be united in one then to oppose it. Protestantism is infidel, or verging towards it, as a whole. I think the sects see further than you do, in that they class 'Popery' and what they call 'Puseyism' together, i.e. that the Churches and what submits to authority will be on the one side in the end, the sects and private judgement on the other. The ground seems clearing and people taking their sides for the last conflict, and we shall then see, I hope, that all which hold 'the deposit of the Faith' (the Creeds, as an authority without them will be on one side, 'the Eastern, the Western, our own,' and those who lean to their own understanding, on the other. I wish you would not let yourself be drawn off by your fears of 'Popery.' While people are drawn off to this, the enemy (heresy of all sorts, misbelief, unbelief) is taking possession of our citadel. Our real battle is with infidelity, and from this Satan is luring us off.
God bless you ever.
Your affectionate friend,
The renewed agitation to procure a condemnation of Tract 90 was a matter of concern to Pusey, chiefly on account of the effect which, as he feared, it might have upon Newman. He therefore at once sent to Newman on hearing from Mr. Gladstone that the Archbishop of Canter–bury thought there would be no further proceedings against the tract. Newman hastened to assure him that his own convictions were independent of the events of the day, whatever they might be.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Littlemore, Feb. 25, 1845.
Thank you for your kindness about Tract 90. Nothing that has happened has made me go one way or the other, from the first (near six years). If I have a clear certain view that the Church of England is in schism, gained from the Fathers and resting on facts we all admit, as facts (e. g. our separation from Rome), to rest on the events of the day is to put sight against faith. We may allowably go by events when we have no other guide. That events, as events, have a providential direction, who doubts? and that we should be deeply thankful for them--but we must not be blown about by our impressions of them. My dear Pusey, please do not disguise from yourself, that, as far as such outward matters go, I am as much gone over as if I were already gone. It is a matter of time only. I am waiting; if so be that if I am under a delusion, it may be revealed to me--though I am quite unworthy of it--but outward events have never been the causes of my actions, or in themselves touched my feelings. They have had a confirmatory, aggravating effect, often.
Ever yours very affectionately,
J. H. N.
Pusey still dreaded the possible effects of any apparent withdrawal of confidence from Newman. He continued to consult him about difficult cases of spiritual perplexity which were brought to him, and Newman replied as fully as in bygone years, though perhaps with somewhat more of hesitation and constraint. To one such reply Newman added some lines which show how difficult it was becoming for the two friends to keep up their old relations of unre–served intimacy and confidence.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Littlemore, Wednesday, March 12 .
I have been thinking of you a good deal lately. Three Sundays I have been in Oxford, but have not had the heart to call on you. I would I knew how least to give you pain about what, I suppose, sooner or later must be. You see Meyrick considers he had three distinct warnings, and is full of horror at the thought of his having hazarded a neglect of them. One must make no other person' s impressions a guide to oneself. I put it as an illustration (nor am I speaking prominently about myself) when I say, what I ought to say, yet shrink from saying, that I suppose Christmas cannot come again without a break-up-- though to what extent or to whom I do not know. It is better to tell you this at this season, than to wait for a more joyful time.
All blessings be with you, my dear Pusey, prays
Your affectionate friend,
J. H. N.
Pusey was greatly distressed. He begged Newman to consider the unsettlement of convictions and the disunion among families which were caused by the apprehension of his leaving the English Church. He reminded him of his article on the Catholicity of the English Church in the British Critic. Why should Newman think the Roman claim so strong? Could he not see, as Pusey saw, a token of Christ' s Presence with the English Church in the signs of growing life within her, and of the proofs afforded by the conduct and experience of her individual members of the grace and power of her Sacraments? Newman replied:--
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
Littlemore, March 14, 1845.
* * * *
The unsettlement I am causing has been for a long while the one overpowering distress I have had. It is no wonder that through last autumn it made me quite ill. It is as keen as a sword in many ways, and at times has given me a literal heartache, which quite frightened me. But in proportion as my course becomes clearer, this thought in some respects becomes more bearable. The disunion of families indeed remains, and is enough to turn one' s head: but in proportion as one feels confident that a change is right, in the same proportion one wishes others to change too: and though it is anything but my wish that they should change because I do, of course it cannot pain me that they should take my change as a sort of warning, or call to consider where the Truth lies.
I wrote the article on the Catholicity of the English Church to which you refer (as I told you not so long after it, as we were walking back from St. Ebbe' s one day, just as we were opposite Bulteel' s Chapel) to satisfy my own mind. John Miller, I believe, saw at the time that it was written by an unsettled person. I never simply acquiesced in it. When doubts of our Catholicity came powerfully on me, I did all I could to throw them from me--and I think I never can be ashamed of doing my utmost, as I have done for years, to build up the English Church against hope. My doubts were occasioned by studying the Monophysite controversy--which, when mastered, threw light upon all those which preceded it, not the least on the Arian. I saw as clear as day (though I was well aware clear impressions need not at once be truths) that our Church was in the position towards Rome of the heretical and schismatical bodies towards the primitive Church. This was in the early summer of 1839; in the autumn Dr. Wiseman' s article on the Donatists com–pleted my unsettlement. Since that time I have tried, first by one means, then by another, to overcome my own convictions; three separate attempts I recollect,--my article on the Catholicity of the English Church--that on Private Judgement--and my Four Sermons. I have retreated and kept fighting....
Where are we to stop? where am I to stop? what to believe? Each one has his own temptations. I thank God that He has shielded me morally from what intellectually might easily come on me--general scepticism. Why should I believe the most sacred and fundamental doctrines of our faith, if you cut off from me the ground of development? But if that ground is given me, I must go further. I cannot hold precisely what the English Church holds and nothing more. I must go forward or backward, else I sink into a dead scepticism, a heartless acedia, into which too many in Oxford, I fear, are sinking. You cannot take them a certain way in a line, and then, without assignable reason, stop them. If they find a bar put on them, a prohibition, from within or without, they come to think the whole matter a dream, a sham, and fall back to an ordinary life.
I have said. all this because you have asked me, with a double anxiety; on the one hand the distress of paining you, on the other ,the feeling that I am not at all doing justice to my own convictions and the ground of them.
As to the signs of growing life in the English Church, I think it most fair and right to dwell on them, when one has no clearer grounds--but I do not know how to doubt, the Fathers would have said that we were not the Church and ought individually to join the Church--and if the body of the English Church is about to join the Church so much more reason have we to praise God. As to individuals, by joining the Church of Rome, hindering that greater event, this again is a good reason, if one has no clearer reason to go by than those of apparent expediency.
That our Lord may in His mercy give grace through our sacra–mental rites, as He does (we humbly and surely believe) in so many instances, proves nothing beyond the fact that He does so in those instances. Whether it is an ordinary or extraordinary grant is not proved thereby. Multitudes of people flocked to the holy robe of Trèves just now, and cures were wrought. Faith might thus be rewarded, even though the robe was not a genuine relic.
I suppose, even though a Church be schismatical, yet if it have the Apostolical Succession, and the true form of Consecration, Christ is present on its altars, and that He, Who is thus really present, should give of His presence to those who believe Him present, in spite of the obex, is not hard to believe, and is, I believe, allowed in the Church of Rome.
And now what have I to say, but to express a trust, that where so much is at stake, Divine Mercy would reveal to me unworthy clearly what is His will about me, and what is not.
Ever yours very affectionately,
What you and others urge upon me, and what I feel myself, the unsettlement of mind I should cause, would, I suppose, make it a clear duty to state, as best I could, my reasons. As far as I see, I shall resign my Fellowship by November.
After this letter Pusey seems to have lost nearly his last hope of Newman' s remaining in the Anglican Church.
E. B. P. TO REV. H. A. WOODGATE.
35 Grosvenor Square, Good Friday night,
[March 21], 1845.
MY DEAR WOODGATE,
I left Oxford upon a very distressing illness of one under my charge, and somehow I did not read your letter (which was forwarded to me here) until to-night. And now I fear my note will arrive to turn Easter joy into sorrow. It relates to our friend Newman. His despondency about our condition has been deepening since 1839; he has done all he could to keep himself where he is; but his convictions are too strong for him, and so now my only hope is that he may be an instrument to restore the Roman Church, since our own knows not how to employ him. His energy and gifts are wasted among us. But for us it is a very dreary prospect. Besides our personal loss, it is a break-up, and I suppose such a rent as our Church has never had. Besides those already unsettled, hundreds will be carried from us, mistrusting themselves to stay when he goes. It is very dismal.
I do not speak publicly of it, lest it should hasten what is so very miserable, but I doubt very much whether next Advent he will be any longer with us.
God comfort you. It makes me almost indifferent to anything, as if things could not be better or worse. However, if one lives, one must do what we can to gather up the fragments that remain, and meanwhile pray for our poor Church.
To Keble Pusey wrote in similar terms.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
35 Grosvenor Square, Easter Friday,
[March 28], 1845.
I hear that he [Newman] is not at the Oriel election this year. I did not expect it. It looks like an approaching parting. I fear, whenever it is, the rent in our poor Church will be terrible; I cannot conceive where it will end, or how many we may not lose.
On April 17 Newman sent to Pusey a clergyman who was in difficulties 'about his safety in the English Church.' 'I said,' Newman added, 'I had rather not speak on the subject, and he wishes in consequence to talk to you.' Pusey, of course, welcomed him.
It was characteristic of the intensity of Pusey' s belief in God' s providential guidance and of his love for Newman, that he gradually brought himself to think of Newman s secession as determined, like a prophet' s mission, by reasons peculiar to himself, and thus in no sense an example to be followed by others.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Christ Church, 5th Sunday after Easter, 1845.
I should like to know what you think could best be done by any in that terrible shock awaiting us. I am hoping that people may come to think that he has a special mission and call, and so that it may not be looked upon as an example to all who have learnt of him; but it will be, I fear, a most fearful rent, draining our Church of so much of her strength.
Ever your affectionate and grateful
E. B. P.
Again he writes to Keble:--
Ilfracombe, July 8, 1845.
People have been anxious that you should in some way do some–thing to cheer and reassure people at such a time as this. They are so discouraged that it would seem as if some would join Rome out of mere hopelessness. They resign themselves as by a sort of fascination, as though it must be sooner or later, 'Why then not at once? and so the step would be taken, and all suspense at an end.' I have myself looked upon this of dear N [ewman] as a mysterious dispensation, as though (if it be indeed so) Almighty God was drawing him, as a chosen instrument, for some office in the Roman Church (although he himself goes, of course, not as a reformer, but as a simple act of faith), and so I thought that He might be pleased to give him convictions (if it be so) which He does not give to others. At least, I have come into this way of thinking, since I have realized to myself that it was likely to be thus..
Manning and I, I found, have each been preaching in L[ondon] just to show that we wished to go on as before, and did not despair.
C. Marriott, I think, suggested to you some hopeful dedication of your little book of poetry to the children of our Church, who are indeed so very full of hopefulness to us. But I hear this is not to be out for some months. Could you not give us something else: as those Sermons on the Catechism, which I liked so much, and found so good for my children? I think something of this sort, not going out of your way, but reassuring people, would do 'more good than anything besides. You have been so much nearer to Newman, as in the publication of the 'Remains,' Tract 90, &c., that reassurance about you would encourage people more than anything else....
Ever your grateful and affectionate
E. B. P.
As the report of Newman' s approaching secession spread among those who had followed and trusted him, Pusey' s correspondence became more and more exacting; while at the same time his distress of mind revealed itself in an apparent indecision, which, when the event had actually taken place, entirely disappeared.
This indecision is visible in some phases of his corre–spondence with Dr. Hook, before the consecration of St. Saviour' s, Leeds--a matter which will be dealt with in the succeeding chapter. But another person who was alive to it, and was especially anxious to correct it, was Arch–deacon Manning, who had sent Pusey his recent Charge to the clergy of his archdeaconry.
E. B. P. TO ARCHDEACON MANNING.
July 29, 1845.
Thank you for your Charge. While it is in a cheering tone, is there quite love enough for the Roman Church? 'If one member suffer, &c.' . . . We are so far worse off than our neighbours, if we suffer both ways; [if we] cannot by the vitality of the Church retain many who are good, or turn bad into good. However you do put forth strongly that we are sick; and what you say of chastenings must do good. I only desiderate more love for Rome. When the battle with infidelity and rebellion comes, we must be on the same side.
Such gentleness towards Rome appeared to his corre–spondent to imply a dangerous inclination to admit her claims. The event has shown that this was a mistake. Strong convictions, like strong men, can always be con–siderate and generous. It was precisely because Pusey had no misgivings respecting. the claims of the Church of England that he did not cherish the fierce feelings or use the fierce language towards Rome which more respectable divines than the Puritans have sometimes deemed a neces–sary feature of Anglican loyalty. Manning of course agreed that we owe duties of charity towards the Roman Church; but he was anxious to point out what they did not include as well as what they did.
ARCHDEACON MANNING TO E. B. P.
MY DEAR FRIEND, Lavington, Aug. 8, 1845.
* * * *
Let me endeavour to say to you what I feel about it.
I. We owe to the Church of Rome a pure Christian charity as to a member of the Catholic body: we owe the same also to the Churches of the East. I do not find you expressing the latter feeling, and that seems to me the cause why you are misunderstood to have not a charity to the whole Body of Christ, but a partial fondness and leaning to the Roman Church.
2. We owe to the Church of Rome a special kind of charity because there are in it things of which we dare not ourselves partake.
We are bound to use no language which can arrest the course of spiritual and intellectual purification, which, I trust and believe, is advancing in parts, or in individuals of that Communion.
A Roman Catholic said some time ago of certain Oxford men, 'They are forging new chains for themselves and rivetting ours.'
This seems to me to be the effect of an undecided and weak tone, and to be highly wanting in charity.
3. We owe it in charity to the whole Church, and to the Roman inclusively, to do all we can to deepen and perfect the spiritual life of the English Church; for however many things we may learn of them, there are some, of God' s great mercies, which they may learn of us.
Now one powerful obstruction to the very work in which you are spending yourself arises, I believe, out of the tone you have adopted towards the Church of Rome. Will you forgive me if I say that it seems to me to breathe not charity, but want of decision? The effect of this, as I have had opportunity of observing among the parochial clergy, is to make them withdraw in doubt and misgiving.
4. We owe, above all, the largest and tenderest charity to our own Church, and unless we do more than express it, I mean unless we act upon it, and are governed by it, I am led to doubt the reality of our more enlarged view of charity. Is it not like the philosophical benevolence which embraces nations and neglects kindred, and yearns after strangers while it slights the ties of home and blood?
Now what are the facts but these--The Church of Rome for three hundred years has desired our extinc–tion. It is now undermining us. Suppose your own brother to believe that he was divinely inspired to destroy you. The highest duties would bind you to decisive, firm, and circumspect precaution.
Now a tone of love such as you speak of seems to me to bind you also to speak plainly of the broad and glaring evils of the Roman system. Are you prepared to do this? If not, it seems to me that the most powerful warnings of charity forbid you to use a tone which cannot but lay asleep the consciences of many for whom by writing and publishing you make yourself responsible....
Believe me, my dear friend,
Yours very affectionately,
H. B. MANNING.
But Pusey' s attitude at this juncture created perplexity in still higher quarters. He had written much against Rome in the past: and, while avoiding denunciatory language, such as Newman had employed, had carefully pointed out contradictions between Roman and Primitive teaching and practice. Was not this a juncture at which he might, with great advantage to the Church of England, put forth something in this sense? So at least thought Mr. B. Harrison, and, there can be little doubt, a more important person at Lambeth, who probably inspired Harrison' s letter. The letter, however, was simply Harri–son' s, and as it contained no references to the wishes of the Archbishop, Pusey was able to answer it with the freedom which was natural in writing to a younger friend and pupil.
E. B. P. TO THE REV. B. HARRISON.
Christ Church, Sept., Ember Week, Tuesday,
MY DEAR H., [Sept. 16, 1845].
I hardly know what amount of pain it will give you, but I ought to say that I can only take the positive ground of love and duty to our own Church, as an instrument of God for man' s salvation, in which He is present, and gives us the gifts of life, His Body and Blood, and all which is needful to salvation,--as descended from that Church which He planted here, to save souls. I cannot any more take the negative ground against Rome; I can only remain neutral. I have indeed for some time left off alleging grounds against Rome, and whether you think it right or wrong, I am sure it is of no use to persons who are really in any risk of leaving us.
I should say that their difficulty is twofold; the weight of Roman authority, as supported by miracles, by the high life of her saints, the tendency of prophecy both as to the visible unity of the Church, and the eminence of St. Peter (interpreted as it is, of old, of the see of Rome), their oneness in all great points of doctrine, the depth of their spiritual system, their greater zeal and success in missions, the superior devotion and instruction of the poor, their greater fervour, the greater love and devotion in their spiritual writings. On the other hand, are our numberless divisions, the plague of division following us everywhere, the direct and unrebuked denial of funda–mental truths of the faith, the toleration of all heresy, while truth has been impugned by different authorities in the Church, and no one protested against it, our fraternizing with Protestants, the tone of our Articles, our proud contempt for everybody except ourselves, and the hatred of Rome so general among us. ( 'How can we,' they say, 'be part of the one Church, as you tell us, if instead of loving one another, we thus hate one another?' And I cannot deny that it is not a dislike of parts of the Roman system only.)--Again, there is the want of individual guidance, the infrequency of services and Communions, the continual denial of truths they hold by the very ministers who teach them, or by our Bishops, the difficulty of knowing what is truth; and now the actual neologism springing up even in Oxford.
Some of these things you too must feel to be real evils. And the most effectual way to relieve them I have found, in combination with our succession, is to point out how God has owned and is owning our Church, His good Providence over her, His gifts in her, the life He is giving her. These encourage people and give them heart. And so I should say, any great movement in the right direction, as the Colonial Bishoprics, St. Augustine' s, any decided token of life, cheers them. We are in danger, lest people drop off out of mere despondency.
It will be disappointing to you that I can do nothing to reassure people in the way you speak of. I am afraid lest I fight against God. From much reading of Roman books, I am so much impressed with the superiority of their teaching; and again, in some respects, I see things in Antiquity which I did not (especially I cannot deny some purifying system in the Intermediate State, nor the lawfulness of some Invocation of Saints), that I dare not speak against things. I can only remain in a state of abeyance, holding what I see and not denying what I do not see. I should say that wherein I have changed, it has been through Antiquity.
My practical line (if God continues me here) would be much as heretofore, to teach whatever Antiquity teaches as being herein in the line of our Church, and to try to promote practical holiness, leaving the result to God, and praying Him, with good Bishop Andrewes, to heal our divisions, &c.
In asking for prayers for 'unity,' I meant that we should ask of God to bring us into one mind, His Own, without presuming what that mind is. Let us all desire to be conformed to His, and surely we shall. If we wait until we are agreed wherein we ought to be at one, this is not to pray for it, until we know it. If people are convinced that they are wholly in the right and their opponents wholly in the wrong, then, if they formed definite thoughts of unity, it would be that others should be as they. Be it so, only let us pray for one another, and God will hear us in His way. If we pray not, we shall never be at one. 'God maketh men to be of one mind in one house.'
Ever yours affectionately,
E. B. P.
We should recollect that we are praying for Greek and Roman Ordinations, by the very force of the Collect, as well as our own.
But in answering other correspondents, it may be ques–tioned whether Pusey' s theory that Newman' s case was so peculiar as to form no precedent for others was calcu–lated to withhold any from following him. So strong, however, in Pusey' s mind was this conviction that, even so late as July, 1845, he wrote to Newman for advice with regard to some people under his own charge, who were tempted to join the Church of Rome. Could an ordinary person expect to understand the historical question on which the Roman claims were rested? To what extent ought the fact of their having been brought under Pusey' s spiritual guidance to weigh with them? 'What weight should be attached to the very remarkable gift of grace which they have received in our Church, and which has to myself seemed very amazing?' If Newman thought none of these grounds valid for deciding against considering the claims of the Church of Rome, what course would he recommend? 'Your case,' Pusey added, 'if so it is to be, I look upon as a special dispensation. I suppose of Course that, if it is so, Almighty God is pleased to draw you for some office which He has for you.' Newman could not admit Pusey' s theory of the peculiarity, of his case, and declined to answer his questions.
When Pusey' s birthday came round, Newman wrote with his wonted affection, but with a certain reserve dictated by his own convictions:--
MY DEAR PUSEY, Littlemore, August 22, 1845.
I do not like this day to pass without sending you a line to show my remembrance of it, though I have nothing else to say. May you have, as you will have, a succession of them, increasing, as the year comes round, in usefulness and all good, till you have finished God' s work upon earth, as far as it is committed to you, and have no reason for remaining. He surely is working through you and others in His Own way, and will bring out all things happily at last.
Believe me, ever yours, my dear Pusey,
P.S.--St. John and Dalgairns both send their best and kindest remembrances of the day.
But the end of Newman' s connexion with the English Church was close at hand. On Sept. 28 he had to announce to Pusey an event which was serious in itself, and more serious as a symptom of what would follow it.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
MY DEAREST PUSEY, Littlemore, Sept. 28, 1845.
No time is the right time to tell what you will feel to be painful news; but I must not delay to tell you.
Dalgairns left us yesterday. His father and mother come into Oxford in a few days, and he thought it best that it should be over before he saw them. . . .
Ever yours affectionately,
J. H. N.
On October 3 Newman took a step which spoke for itself.
REV. J. H. NEWMAN TO E. B. P.
MY DEAR PUSEY, Oct. 3, 1845.
I have written to the Provost to-day to resign my Fellowship. Anything may happen to me now any day.
Anyhow, believe me, my dear Pusey,
Yours most affectionately ever,
What followed is a matter of history. On October 9, Father Dominic, the Passionist, was at Littlemore. The period of hesitation and suspense, within which Pusey had never quite ceased to hope, and certainly had never ceased to pray, was at an end. The dreaded event had come at last; Newman was lost to the English Church.
For some days it would seem neither Pusey nor Keble had the heart to write to one another. But Pusey poured out the thoughts that filled his mind in the subjoined letter which appeared in the English Churchman of October 16th. It was addressed, not, as has sometimes been supposed, to Keble, but to an ideal or imaginary friend, whom for the moment Pusey supposed himself to be taking into his confidence. A composition of this kind committed nobody else to sympathy with its statements; while it enabled the writer to make them with entire confidence and unreserve, and above all, to use Pusey' s phrase, to avoid any appearance of the style and authority of a Bishop, while yet addressing a very large and deeply interested circle of readers. It is a letter which no man could have written who had any doubts about his own religious position;--the recent disaster had obliged him to act, and conscience left him no ground for question as to what that action should be.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Truly 'His way is in the sea, and His paths in the great waters, and His footsteps are not known.' At such moments it seems almost best to 'keep silence, yea even from good words.' It is an exceeding mystery that such confidence as he had once in our Church should have gone. Even amid our present sorrows it goes to the heart to look at that former self, and think how devotedly he worked for our Church; how he strove to build her up. It looks as if some good purpose for our Church had failed; that an instrument raised up for her had not been employed as God willed, and so is withdrawn. There is a jar somewhere. One cannot trust oneself to think, whether his keen sensitiveness to ill was not fitted for these troubled times. What, to such dulled minds as my own, seemed as a matter of course, as something of necessity to be gone through and endured, was to his, as you know, 'like the piercings of a sword.' You know how it seemed to pierce through his whole self. But this is with God. Our business is with ourselves. The first pang came to me years ago, when I had no other fear, but heard that he was prayed for by name in so many churches and religious houses on the continent. The fear was sug–gested to me, 'If they pray so earnestly for this object, that he may be won to be an instrument of God' s glory among them, while among us there is so much indifference, and in part dislike, may it not be that their prayers may be heard, that God will give them whom they pray for,--we forfeit whom we desire not to retain?'
And now must they not think that their prayers, which they have offered so long,--at times I think night and day, or at the Holy Eucharist,--have been heard? And may not we have forfeited him because there was, comparatively, so little love and prayer? And so now, then, in this critical state of our Church, the most perilous crisis through which it has ever passed, must not our first lesson be increase of prayer?
I may now say that one set of those 'Prayers for unity and guidance into the truth,' circulated some years ago, came from him. Had they, or such prayers, been used more constantly, should we be as we are now ?--Would all this confusion and distress have come upon us?
Yet, since God is with us still, He can bring us even through this loss. We ought not indeed to disguise the greatness of it. It is the intensest loss we could have had. They who have won him know his value. It may be a comfort to us that they do. In my deepest sorrow at the distant anticipation of our loss, I was told of the saying of one of their most eminent historians, who owned that they were entirely unequal to meet the evils with which they were beset, that nothing could meet them but some movement which should infuse new life into their Church, and that for this he looked to one man, and that one was N. I cannot say what a ray of comfort darted into my mind. It made me at once realize more, both that what I dreaded might be, and its end. With us, he was laid aside. Engaged in great works, especially with that bulwark against heresy and misbelief, St. Athanasius, he was yet scarcely doing more for us than he would if he were not with us. Our Church has not known how to employ him. And, since this was so, it seemed as if a sharp sword were lying in its scabbard, or hung up in the sanctuary because there was no one to wield it. Here was one marked out as a great instrument of God, fitted through his whole training, of which, through a friendship of twenty-two years, I have seen at least some glimpses, to carry out some great design for the restoration of the Church; and now after he bad begun that work among ourselves in retirement--his work taken out of his hands, and not directly acting upon our Church. I do not mean, of course, that he felt this, or that it influenced him. I speak of it only as a fact. He is gone unconscious (as all great instruments of God are) what he himself is. He has gone as a simple act of duty with no view for himself, placing himself entirely in God' s hands. And such are they whom God employs. He seems then to me not so much gone from us, as transplanted into another part of the Vineyard, where the full energies of his powerful mind can be employed, which here they were not. And who knows what in the mysterious purposes of God' s good Providence may be the effect of such a person among them? You too have felt that it is what is unholy on both sides which keeps us apart. It is not what is true in the Roman system, against which the strong feeling of ordinary religious persons among us is directed, but against what is unholy in her practice. It is not anything in our Church which keeps them from acknowledging us, but heresy existing more or less within us. As each, by God' s grace, grows in holiness, each Church will recognize, more and more, the Presence of God' s Holy Spirit in the other; and what now hinders the union of the Western Church will fall off. As the contest with unbelief increases, the Churches which have received and transmitted the substance of the Faith as deposited in our common Creeds must be on the same side with it. 'If one member suffer, the other members suffer with it,' and so in the increasing health of one, others too will benefit. It is not as we would have it, but God' s will be done! He brings about His Own ends, as, in His Sovereign wisdom, He sees to be best. One can see great ends to be brought about by this present sorrow; and the more so, because he, the chosen instrument of them, sees them not for himself. It is perhaps the greatest event which has happened since the Communion of the Churches has been interrupted, that such an one, so formed in our Church, and the work of God' s Spirit as dwelling within her, should be transplanted to theirs. If anything could open their eyes to what is good in us, or soften in us any wrong prejudices against them, it would be the presence of such an one, nurtured and grown to such ripeness in our Church, and now removed to theirs. If we have by our misdeeds (personal or other) 'sold our brother,' God, we may trust, willeth thereby to 'preserve life.'
It is, of course, a heavy thing to us who remain, heavy to us individually, in proportion as any of us may have reason to fear lest, by what has been amiss in oneself, one has contributed to bring down this heavy chastisement upon our Church. But while we go on humbled, and the humbler, surely neither need we be dejected. God' s chastise–ments are in mercy too. You, too, will have seen, within these last few years, God' s work with the souls in our Church. For myself, I am even now far more hopeful as to our Church than at any former period--far more, than when outwardly things seemed most prosperous. It would seem as if God, in His mercy, let us now see more of His inward workings, in order that in the tokens of His Presence with us, we may take courage. He has not forsaken us, Who, in fruits of holiness, in supernatural workings of His grace, in the deepening of devotion, in the awakening of consciences, in His own manifest acknowledgement of the 'power of the keys,' as vested in our Church, shows Himself more than ever present with us. These are not simply individual workings. They are too widespread, too manifold. It is not to immediate results that we ought to look, 'the times are in His hands' ; but this one cannot doubt, that the good hand of our God, which has been over us in the manifold trials of the last three centuries, checking, withholding, guiding, chastening, leading, and now so wonderfully extending us, is with us still. It is not thus He ever purposed to leave a Church. Gifts of grace are His Own Blessed Presence. He does not vouchsafe His Presence in order to withdraw it. In nature, some strong rallying of life sometimes precedes its extinction. It is not so in grace--gifts of grace are His love, and 'whom He loveth, He loveth unto the end.' The growth of life in our Church has not been the mere stirring of individuals. If any one thing has impressed itself upon me during these last ten years, or (looking back into the order–ings of His Providence) for a yet longer period, it has been that the work which He has been carrying on is not with individuals, but with the Church as a whole. The life has sprung up in our Church and through it. Thoughtful persons abroad have been amazed and im–pressed with this. It was not through their agency nor through their writings, but through God' s Holy Spirit dwelling in our Church, vouchsafed through His ordinances, teaching us to value them more deeply, to seek them more habitually, to draw fresh life from them, that this life has~ sprung up, enlarged, deepened. And now, as you too know, that life shows itself in deeper forms, in more marked drawings of souls, in more diligent care to conform itself to its Divine Pattern, and to purify itself, by God' s grace, from all which is displeasing to Him, than heretofore. Never was it so with any body whom He pur–posed to leave. And so, amid whatever mysterious dispensations of His Providence, we may safely commit ourselves and our work, in good hope, to Him Who hath loved us hitherto. He Who loved us amid negligence so as to give us the earnest desire to please Him, will surely not forsake us now He has given us that desire, and we, amid whatever infirmities individually, or remaining defects as a body, do more earnestly desire His glory.
May He ever comfort and strengthen you.
Ever your very affectionate friend,
E. B PUSEY.
Few men could have written thus unselfishly under the stress of a blow which involved great personal and far-reaching discredit with friends and superiors, and a keen mental distress and anxiety which threw all other consequences of the occurrence into the shade. Few men could have put from their thoughts so resolutely the human and worldly aspects of the occurrence, and have placed it simply in the light of God' s will and the widest interests of His kingdom. Pusey knew full well what impetus would be given to the fierce prejudices against himself which were already entertained by the Puritan and the Latitudinarian, but he did not on that account shrink from tracing Newman' s conversion to the prayers which had been offered for him in the Roman Church, or from speaking of that Church as 'another part of the vineyard' into which his friend has been 'transplanted.' On the other hand, he is as sanguine as ever, 'far more hopeful as to our Church than at any former period,' and this because 'the supernatural workings of God' s grace' in it are not 'simply individual workings,' --efforts traceable in the lives of one or another of its members,--but so 'widespread' and 'manifold' as to show that it is in and through the body of the English Church that the Divine Spirit is making Himself felt. Such a letter, written at such a time, was an evidence that Pusey had never despaired of the Spiritual Republic. His faith in and love for the English Church never were stronger than at this moment of extreme discouragement.
This letter caused Keble to break the silence.
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
MY DEAR PUSEY, Hursley Vicarage, Oct. 21, 1845.
I believe I have not written to you since the thunderbolt fell. But I consider that I have heard from you through the letter in the English Churchman, and many thanks for the comfort it gave me in common with thousands more. Now again I have to thank Marriott for a great deal of relief which he has sent me to-day by his report of dear J. H. N. as not having proceeded at once as though he were taking up a hostile position, which somehow I had feared was the case, and which seemed to me a very miserable thing. But by Marriott' s account his step hitherto has not been so very incon–sistent with my theory of neutrality towards Rome being our natural position....
Ever your very affectionate
Newman had not yet published his 'Essay on the De–velopment of Christian Doctrine' ; and rumour in Oxford and elsewhere was busy in manufacturing and propagating stories of what it would be like.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
MY DEAR K. Christ Church, Oct. 22, 1845.
The reports about N.' s book are anxious, but he loves us, and one has good faith about things. But he uses very decided language as to the Roman Church being 'the one only fold of the Redeemer,' and wishes and prays that others may follow him.
I have been ashamed to put myself so forward at such a crisis, when you were silent, yet since God had let me, unworthy, see some of His workings with people' s souls, I thought I might comfort others with the comfort wherewith He (I hoped) had comforted me.
Yours most affectionately and gratefully,
E. B. P.
At the same time, Pusey was cheered by a visit from the Bishop of Oxford. The Bishop assured him of his full confidence, and of his sure persuasion that if 'only ten' were left, Pusey himself would certainly be one of them.
To those who did not know Pusey, his attitude towards Newman during the years 1844 and 1845 may have appeared unintelligible: Pusey' s own unshaken and unshakeable faith in the English Church warranted him in taking what in any other less sure of his ground would have been liberties with his own position. He could not at first bring himself to think that Newman would ever desert a cause the claims of which appeared to himself to be so entirely unassailable by con–troversy. When at last it was forced upon him that Newman would become a Roman Catholic, he endeavoured to reconcile his own unswerving love of and deference for Newman with his absolute faith in the Presence of Christ with the English Church, by the supposition that Newman was, at any rate for a time, the subject of a special call or dispensation, having for its object the promotion of some great blessing or improvement in the Roman Church; and therefore that his secession was no more entitled to general imitation than was the mission of the Prophet Jonah to Nineveh. He could not even bring himself to allow that Newman was doing wrong, though he held that it would have been wrong indeed in himself or any other member of the English Church to follow his example. Such a position is of course open to obvious criticisms; but the heart has a logic of its own, which is often, in point of courage and generosity, more than a match for that of the bare under–standing. It was so in this case. Pusey accompanied his friend as far as his conscience would allow; even when he could no longer agree with him, he clung, as it were, to his hand, with unabated friendship which many mistook for agreement. When, however, Newman at last took the final step, Pusey drew back and parted from him, with deep sorrow of heart but with absolutely unimpaired convictions. He quietly resumed those general duties to the Church at large imposed on him by God' s providence--duties which had now become far more burdensome by the loss of his dear friend and great associate.