Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
COMMEMORATION, 1853--FIRST ELECTION TO HEBDO–MADAL COUNCIL--UNIVERSITY BUSINESS--DEATHS OF LADY EMILY PUSEY, MR. PHILIP PUSEY, LADY LUCY PUSEY, DEAN GAISFORD, DR. MILL, CHARLES
THE old Laudian Oxford came to an end in 1854.
At the Commemoration of the preceding year the University was occupied with the installation of a new Chancellor in the place of the Duke of Wellington. On this matter Pusey wrote: 'The Heads have applied to Lord Derby to be Chancellor. I should have preferred the Duke of N., but division might have been fatal and brought in Lord J. R[ussell].' On this occasion, Pusey' s eldest brother was included among those who received an hono–rary degree of Doctor in Civil Law. Another distinguished person who was selected for decoration on this occasion was Mr. Benjamin Disraeli. There was some talk of opposing his degree on religious grounds. Keble however expressed his opinion that unless a man' s unsoundness in the faith was notorious, he had better not be opposed, and the opposition was finally dropped.
During this Commemoration week, a large party of the Pusey family came to Oxford to witness the honour done to the head of the family, and to take part in the festivities going on at that time. Pusey' s letters show how he was engaged in making arrangements for the amusement of his nieces, and settling what balls and parties should be attended. His house was full, but he himself withdrew for two nights to his brother' s at Pusey. Wednesday, the day preceding the scene in the Theatre, was a mournful anni–versary for his sister-in- law, Lady Emily Pusey. Her diary contains the entry
'Wednesday, June 8th.--Melancholy day. It was the funeral of my dear brother Edward last year.... God' s will be done.. . . Dr. Pusey gave me the communion at eight o' clock.'
The new Oxford, created by the University Reform Act, met in October, 1854. The first thing that it had to do was to elect its new Governing Body. 'I suppose,' wrote Pusey to Keble, 'that the Hebdomadal Board will be a very fair representative of the residents, whatever that may be.' He imagined that the real tug of war would begin with the discussion on the statutes for the new Halls. The new Council was to consist of six Heads of Houses, six Professors, and six Members of Congregation. At the first election, on Oct. 24, Pusey' s name stood second on the list of professors; Professor R. Hussey' s being first. Pusey' s election was no doubt largely due to the interest in academical matters of which he had given proof in his evidence before the Delegacy and his, reply to Professor Vaughan. But it had another meaning as well.
'The University of Oxford,' it was remarked, 'has taken advantage of the first moment after her recovery of freedom of action to remove from Dr. Pusey all trace of that cruel stigma which a small knot of official persons, usurping her rights and name, once succeeded in temporarily fastening upon him.'
He soon justified, on grounds of academical experience and capacity for business, the choice of the electors; and, as long as he had health to occupy it, his seat was 'undisputed. He filled it for more than a quarter of a century.
On taking his place in the Council, Pusey found himself sitting side by side with two of 'the Six Doctors,' with others who had been strong theological opponents, and with more than one representative of the rising academical Liberalism which was to add so much to the labours of his later life. Indeed in the Council Pusey was brought into personal contact with the leading men in the University in a manner which had for many years been impossible in con–sequence of his studious and secluded habits. Consequently, sides of his character hitherto unrecognized came to be appreciated. He met old friends like Mozley and Marriott, and some others, like Mr. Mansel and Mr. Osborne Gordon, whom he knew less intimately, but with whom he always cordially co-operated. But his work in the Council, as he put it, 'led by God' s mercy to the healing of some wounds of former years.' It completely re-established his old and affectionate relations with the Provost of Oriel: and it led others who had known less of him to do justice to capacities for which they had not given him credit. 'I have made a discovery,' said Dr. Jeune, the Master of Pembroke, 'since I have been in Council: I always thought of Pusey as a mere theologian; I find he is an admirable man of business.' Pusey in his turn learnt to reciprocate this feeling towards the future Bishop of Peterborough. 'Jeune,' he said, 'is not the sort of man some of our friends have thought him: he is a person of clear and strong, if somewhat narrow faith, and brings an' acute and powerful mind to the support of positive truth.'
A seat in the Council, especially during the first years of its existence, made a new and formidable demand upon Pusey' s overtaxed strength and time. 'Monday, Wednes–day, and Friday, from 1 o' clock to 4, are occupied by Council' : so he writes to a friend in May, 1855. And this represented only a small part of the new work thus entailed on him. He worked on several committees, and had to prepare materials for their consideration: the addition to his correspondence was, of itself considerable. But all the time was not lost to the work of his Chair and Theology generally. He always went to the meetings of Council armed with a packet of letters to be answered, or slips of proofs to be corrected; and when any subject was being discussed in which he felt no strong interest, or rather to which he could contribute nothing, he at once began to work as though he had been in his study at Christ Church He had a remarkable faculty of concentrating himself on such work, and yet all the while keeping a vigilant outlook on what was going forward. He used often to observe that in a body like Council, a certain number of persons think it due to themselves or those who vote for them, to talk for a certain time on all questions, but that this does not of itself prove that they are able to elucidate the subject. He was able to keep an eye on the general drift of such speakers; to ascertain how they would vote on a division; and then to address himself for the moment, to some sub–ject which pressed closely on his head and heart. Many of his spiritual letters to Sisters of mercy and others were written in Council.
It may be asked how a man in Pusey' s position could have consented to devote so much time and energy to merely academical details, to which other men who had not his more anxious burden of purely religious responsi–bilities weighing upon them, could have attended just as well. His object in joining the Council was to work for the retention of as much of the old religious Oxford as he could; and he felt that he could best do this by throw–ing himself with all his heart into any new efforts that promoted the real interests of education and discipline. He saw clearly that the admission of Dissenters Into Oxford meant, sooner or later, that all posts of influence and teaching in the University would be thrown open to them, and that Dissenters were not the only or by any means the most undesirable persons who would be thus 'admitted. Behind Puritan Dissent--which he considered likely to resist the solvents that awaited it in University society--there appeared the more threatening form of un–belief hand in hand at one time with Pantheistic philosophy, at another with crude materialism. In all the pending schemes for rearranging the teaching staff of the University, this, the religious interest, was pre-eminently, or rather almost alone, present to Pusey' s mind. Although in the event he was defeated in his more immediate aims, still he fought the battle for nearly a quarter of a century, and, if he could not prevent the separation between the Church and the University, he at least helped to retard it and limit its effect, and thereby to gain time for the rearrangement of the constructive forces of religion.
Pusey had no sooner taken his seat in the Council than questions were discussed which showed the real character of the new situation. The Council had first of all to make the arrangements which were necessary for admitting Dissenters to the University as undergraduates, and Bachelors in several Faculties. The proposed statute which Pusey had sup–ported, provided that Dissenters should not be examined in theology, but should be allowed to take up some classical author as an equivalent in quantity to the Divinity examina–tion which was imposed on members of the Church. On the introduction of this statute into Congregation it was opposed by Dr. Macbride, who was thinking only of 'Evan–gelical Dissenters,' and proposed for such persons an ex–amination in the text of the New Testament, the matter of the Old, and the evidences of religion.
'It is impossible to examine in divinity those who did not agree with us. The Three Creeds had been proposed as a substitute for the Articles, but the Three Creeds meant differently in the mouths of different religionists. So with regard to Scripture; it was understood in a multitude of senses. Again, it was not agreed what was Scripture. Different sects had their own versions, and some included in Scripture what others rejected. He could not come to any other conclusion than that we must refrain from examining in divinity those who did not accept our views of divine truth. He supported the proposed statute' .
To the despairing exclamation of Dr. Macbride that 'no one seemed to care for the glory of God,' Pusey replied that the glory of God had been the object of those who framed the statute through all their deliberations.
He would not, however, have said as much as this with respect to the next discussion of a kindred character which came before the Council. The Oxford Reform Act had decided that certain new professorships were to be estab–lished by the Colleges; and Council was engaged in pre–paring statutes for the prescribed Chairs. Among the questions to be decided was this: what-were to be the re–ligious obligations, if any, of the professors? In the case of professors who were already members of Convocation, the question was, at that time, settled by the still-existing law: but what of the professors who would be elected from outside the University? Pusey writes to Dr. Bull:--
E. B. P. TO REV. DR. BULL.
The Hebdomadal Council has decided that sundry professors are to be members of Convocation, and accordingly members of the Church of England; but that those who are not, are only to say that they will 'cultui et ritibus Ecclesiae Anglicanae conformes se praestabunt.' I tried several resolutions, but was defeated (the Dean being in the majority), (1) that they should be members of the Church of England; (2) that they should communicate with the Church of England; (3) that they would be 'sincere et ex animo conformes.' So the Council has declared that they are to say that they will conform, but does not require them to be sincere.
The Council has anticipated Mr. Heywood, and put us in an in–consistent position; and others will soon rectify the inconsistency, by making us consistent in the wrong direction. I believe that we have destroyed ourselves, and that Oxford is lost to the Church of England. The dam is broken. How soon it will be carried away, God only knows. I have done what I could; now there is nothing more to fight for. The principle is gone.
When the measure proposed by the Council, itself un–satisfactory enough in Pusey' s judgment, was brought into Congregation, it was confronted with an amendment which made it more unsatisfactory still. It was proposed that the professors who were not already members of Convocation should only be required to take a negative test: they would not directly or indirectly teach anything detrimental to the doctrine and discipline of the Church. Upon this Pusey pointed out what was in his judgment the absurdity of drawing a line between theological and non-theological professorships. 'All the sciences moved like planets round the sun of God' s Truth; and, if they left their course, they would be hurled back into chaos.'
Pusey was depressed--partly no doubt by other matters, domestic and theological, which pressed heavily upon him--but also and especially by the prospects which were opening before him with increasing clearness of the future of Oxford.
'We must,' he writes to Mr. Gladstone, 'have the struggle with Rationalism: but it is miserable to have it coming down upon the young from those who ought to teach them the truth. You must long for the same in this as I. Perhaps you are more hopeful.' A few days later, after Dean Gaisford' s funeral, he writes in the same strain, but in view of a larger horizon. His text is Sir John Fakington' s Education Bill.
E. B. P. TO RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P.
Christ Church, Jan. 10, 1855.
I am very sorry that you were prevented from attending the Dean' s funeral. Bull had the arrangements. There was no time to call upon him, because I had my lecture to give; and it is so difficult to understand a note. I certainly imagined from it, that there would be none but personal friends, except those actually in College; and I looked wistfully for you, when I observed how many others came.
However, there will be an opportunity of showing respect to his memory by joining early in contributing towards a Greek Scholarship or Prize, to be called after him. The amount of the contribution need not be large; but the early contribution shows the livelier interest. The Canons and Censors are going to meet to-morrow morning.
What a disappointment Sir J. P.' s Bill is. I have long thought that the Conservatives had the same sort of love for the Church, as the monkey had for the cat whose paw it employed. They biked the Church as long as it politically helped them. Strange that, of three Bills, Lord J. R.' s should be the least bad, although the compulsory system will, I suppose, in any case cripple the voluntary. I hope, now that the Government seems stronger, there will be no dissolution this year, and so that your election will not come on, until our soreness about the Bill has passed away, and we take it, as the state of things which God' s Providence has allotted to us. The Bishops have done and do nothing for us; so I know not why one should expect anything from any one. There is no heart to convert those great masses in our towns. Our diseases are too deep for a cure. Our University has been losing its tone. One cannot look for anything either at home or abroad: one can but work for one' s day and then die.
E. B. PUSEY.
The great victory of the academical Liberals in 1854--5 plunged Pusey into one of his fits of despondency. He had hoped that a private Hall, reserved for members of the Church, would be opened in Oxford under the presi–dency of the Rev. C. Marriott, but, on June 29, 1855 that devoted servant of God was debarred from all active work in this world by a stroke of paralysis. Keble suggested that Mr. Copeland should take Marriott' s place.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Christ Church, Feb. 27, 1856.
I have done nothing about either Hall or Commentary. I have been busy about University business and my book on Councils, hoping to clear off this. Nor is there any one I can move. I did all I could to keep Copeland here. Had he stayed, perhaps he would have been Head of Trinity College. But since I could not keep him, much less could I bring him back.
The retrograde movement here is acknowledged even by such as-Scott (Master of Balliol) and Lightfoot (of Exeter). Twenty years ago people' s minds were earnest, directed towards theology; now they are turned away from it. The young men (our future clergy) are ignorant, in the extreme, of the Bible. And I see not who is to rouse them to anything better. Burgon does something in Oriel, Gilbertson in Jesus, Meyrick perhaps in Trinity. But what is the wheat to the chaff?
The loneliness and despondency which is suggested by this last letter was caused by events which touched Pusey even more closely than the darkest academical outlook. The years covered by this chapter and that which follows witnessed the death of some of those who were dearest to Pusey--of his eldest brother, his brother' s wife, and his mother. Before these sorrows opened on him the marriage of his surviving daughter withdrew an element of social brightness from his family life. Soon after her engagement to the Rev. J. G. Brine, Pusey writes to his son:--
'April 13, 1854.
'So you and I are to be alone soon, my dearest Philip. We must see what will be best to be done. It will be strange in that large house, so often so full, to be two solitary beings. However,
" Who hath the Father and the Son
May be left, but not alone.”'
A great gap was made in the already narrowed circle of the family by the death of Philip Pusey' s wife, Lady Emily. She had been in weak health for more than four years; and in October, 1854, Pusey was summoned, somewhat suddenly, to her bedside. He had felt what was coming, and had for some time taken every opportunity of being with her. The last pages of her diary show how much she leant on him, and how much she owed to him, as her life drew towards its close.
'April 24, 1854.--Dear Dr. Pusey sat with me for some time. We talked about my state of health quite openly. It is clear that Dr. Acland thinks there is no hope but of protracting my life a little longer.
'April 25, 1854.--Dr. Pusey and I had some more comfortable con–versation.'
Then follow many other entries to the same effect. 'His visits are always soothing.' 'We had much calm and pleasant conversation.' Scarcely a week passed, throughout the summer, in which Pusey did not go over to his brother' s house to administer the Holy Communion to Lady Emily. These occasions are generally recorded with a deepening sense that each was a step towards the last.
'July 12, 1854.--William came to take leave of me. It is probably our last parting.'
On the following day she records her niece' s marriage:--
'July 13, 1854.--This morning Mary Pusey was married to Mr. Brine at Oxford by her father: William giving her away.'
As the weeks pass there is a monotony in the diary, which, however, is never other than cheerful.
'August 16, 1854.--Dr. Pusey read the prayers for the Visitation of the Sick to me.
'August 20, 1854.--This morning our little party assembled round my bedside at half-past seven, and dear Dr. Pusey, in his surplice, gave us the Holy Communion.
'August 22, 1854.--Dear Dr. Pusey' s birthday. He read prayers to me.'
Another entry describes Dr. Pusey as sitting with her on a fine August evening 'under the oak tree on the upper terrace for an hour and a half.' It was the last occasion of her leaving the house.
'September 6, 1854.--This evening dear Dr. Pusey arrived from Oxford, and after dinner he came and sat with me for more than an hour; first reading prayers to me. It is impossible to say how great a comfort I have in him.
'September 8, 1854.--At half-past seven Dr. Pusey gave us the Holy Communion, and was obliged to return to Oxford at eight o' clock, before breakfast.'
In October Lady Emily became rapidly worse: and Pusey spent every hour that he could spare at her bedside. Early in October he writes to Keble: 'All is as happy and peaceful here as the eve of a leave-taking can be after thirty-two happy years.' On October 22, he wrote again: 'I am still lingering on here: our good Lord has still something for my dear sister here: she loses strength so gradually that no one can think when the close will be, though it does not seem far off. The autumn leaf drops at last, each at its precise time, though to us they look so alike.' Later, after describing the lingering character of the illness, he adds, 'From her I hear nothing but thankfulness.' November had begun: and Lady Emily still lingered on.
'My stay here,' writes Pusey to Keble, 'is prolonged: Emily is staying longer with us than seemed likely a little while ago. I suppose that it may even be until the close of this year. It is the gentler parting for my poor brother: he too was giving way physically, which makes me the more anxious to be [with him].'
A few days later matters had become even more critical. Pusey had increasing difficulty in being absent from Oxford. He had been elected, as has been already stated, to the Hebdomadal Council, which was now holding its first meetings and committees.
But the end came on November 13th. Pusey was present.
'She fell asleep gently,' he wrote to his son, 'this morning at 8.30. She had been dying since 2 o' clock: but said, " Death has no pain. It is indeed swallowed up in victory." A most peaceful end of a holy blameless life.'
To Pusey the death of his sister-in-law was a great personal sorrow. Her distinction of mind and character, but especially the earnestness with which she had thrown herself into the cause which he had most deeply at heart, had made her very dear to him. No other member of his family in his own generation understood him as she did. But especially he felt that her death would probably in–volve at no distant time that of his eldest brother. Never was a widower more heartbroken than Mr. Pusey. He could attend to nothing: and Pusey had to make all the arrangements which must be made at such seasons. He gave all orders about the funeral; received the relatives; -and was in constant attendance by night as well as by day on his elder brother, who could hardly be persuaded to allow him to go into the next room. After the funeral, Dr. Acland advised a change of air; but as Mr. Pusey would go nowhere without his brother, and Pusey could not leave Oxford, Mr. Pusey begged to be taken to Christ Church. The spacious drawing-room, and the adjoining bedroom traditionally associated with Wolsey' s visits to Oxford, and distinguished by the Renaissance details of the window which looks out on St. Aldate' s, were placed at his dis–posal. These rooms were, as has been seen, so associated with his wife, that Pusey had not entered them for years, but he soon had occasion to spend a great part of his time in them. His brother had not been more than a week at Christ Church when he was stricken by paralysis. He lingered on for nine months. Among the letters of sym–pathy which Pusey received at this time is one from Mr. Gladstone, showing high appreciation of his brother' s worth and character.
Early in January there seems to have been a rally.
I have shoved off everything,' writes Pusey to Keble, 'which admitted of delay, day by day and week by week. The shores of Italy continually recede. I have been hoping and hoping to get to Hursley. My poor brother is, in some degree, better, although half paralyzed, and the paralyzed side does not recover. Still he has been recovered, thus far, from the very gates of death; so we may hope, I know not what; but that he may be continued for some time longer to his children.'
So the spring of 1855 passed: in June there was a second stroke, which announced the nearer approach of death. 'My poor brother,' wrote Pusey, 'has had another, if not two attacks of the same sort [as before]; so that now it can only be a question of time. It may be months yet.'
It was, however, to be sooner than Pusey thought. His brother died on July 9, 1855.
The last scene is described by Pusey in letters to Keble and Mr. Gladstone. In both he dwells upon the last ' look.' He often used to say that the soul speaks through the eye, and that it speaks sometimes most clearly thus when there is no longer strength to speak with the mouth. 'That look,' he wrote to Mr. Gladstone, 'will live with me while I live.'
Pusey and his brother had been closely connected to–gether since their infancy: and the loss was, as he said, 'beyond human words.' In consequence of their father' s death, his nieces came to him at Christ Church; and for a time the ordinary society of a family was resumed at Pusey' s lodgings.
'As time went on, and the mourning for my father was over,' writes Mrs. Fletcher, 'my uncle became very anxious to make it a cheerful place, and encouraged us to give little parties in the drawing-room, at which Mrs. Liddell or some other lady presided. Sometimes we had music and choruses, &c., which delighted my uncle; and he would say next day, " You were very lively last night: I could hear the voices," Nothing ever disturbed him or came amiss.'
It was a great Sorrow to Pusey when in December, 1855, six months after his brother' s death, his nephew, Mr. Sidney Bouverie Pusey, who was at the time fifteen years old, was removed from his care by the guardians who were ap–pointed under the terms of Mr. Philip Pusey' s will. That Mr. Pusey had not appointed either of his own brothers, Edward and William, to be the guardians of his son, was due doubtless to the anti-clerical feeling which he had to a certain extent imbibed ten years before; the arrangement certainly does not represent his thoughts at the close of his life towards a brother under whose roof he came to die. But while feelings change, the letter of a will lasts and is inexorable; and the guardians may have felt that the intention which led to their appointment made it a duty to remove young Mr. Pusey from his uncle' s care. Pusey protested, but to no purpose.
'I have entered the strongest protest I could against their taking him away from me,' writes Pusey to the Rev. R. F. Wilson, 'and have told them that I would give no opinion as to any plan they may have for him.. . . It will be a breach between the guardians and me, if they do it. I do not mean of charity, which one must keep, but of everything else.' Keble sympathized warmly with Pusey in this trouble. To one of the guardians who had observed that it was very natural in Mr. Pusey to distrust clerical influences, he observed that it was 'unfortunate for him or for any one to neglect the opportunities for keeping young people in the right way which our Saviour, by His Pro–vidence, had placed within their reach.'
Pusey' s nieces however often came to stay with him. 'From the moment of our father' s death 'and ever since,' writes one of them,' he was a father to us, and such a father as falls to the lot of few.'
But another and even a greater sorrow than his brother' s death was about to fall on Pusey.
Until 1858, Lady Lucy Pusey had preserved, together with fair average health, the quiet, humble, cheerful, hope–ful temper, which made her what she was to her children and to those who knew her. In the spring of 1858 there were signs that her health was giving way. She lost something of her wonted spirits; found attendance at South Audley Chapel twice on a Sunday a greater fatigue than she could bear; and showed other signs of declining strength. True to her character, she still never allowed herself to lie down during the day, or even to lean back in a chair; and, at night, she would not allow a servant to sleep even on the same floor as her own bedroom.
On the fourth Sunday in Lent she received the Holy Communion for the last time at Grosvenor Chapel; Dr. Pusey kneeling at her side. He had returned to Oxford; when, on the day before Palm Sunday, he was summoned by telegraph to London. Her son' s presence roused her for the time; she exclaimed with animation, 'Dear, dear Edward' ; she told him that she was quite well, and begged him to 'go to your books.' She apologized for the trouble she was giving: and her last hours were throughout marked by the simple forgetfulness of self which had characterized her whole life. As she could not swallow, it was impossible to administer the Blessed Sacrament to her.
'I said,' wrote Pusey to his brother William on Good Friday, 1858, 'some short prayers by her, and repeated texts which were prayers, and she thanked me. A little while before she ceased to breathe, she said, " Now I wish to be quite quiet, that there should be none but you [I] and Dr. Cotton." I saw her hands put together in prayer, and then I was silent, because she would best know how to pray. I told her she was going to God, when I saw that she was dying. She answered, in that humility which you know as the characteristic of her life, that he was not fit. I answered you will suppose how.'
When all was over Pusey wrote to Keble: 'She died in that deep humility which had been the characteristic of her whole life, feeling herself unworthy to enter into His Presence.' It was with reference to his mother that Pusey wrote twenty-two years afterwards:--
" 'I am not prepared," was the exclamation of a pious, simple, and humble soul, who had served God and trusted in Jesus beyond the ordinary period of mortality, when told that she was shortly to see God. For the thought of His awful Holiness and the inadequacy of our best love stood out before her. To such a soul it would have been an unspeakable comfort to have known, that although she was not yet prepared for the sight of His All-Holiness, there was a waiting time, out of the reach of sin, in which she might be prepared for the Presence of Him Who had ever been her God' .
The end came at half-past two o' clock on the afternoon of Palm Sunday. Pusey wrote to his brother William, who was staying in Madeira for the sake of an invalid son:--
" ' It is the Lord, let Him do as seemeth Him good." He has given us our dearest mother for a time far beyond the age of man at his full strength, and she has been waiting so long at the gate of Paradise, always looking that she would not remain long with us. She has remained so much longer than we hoped, and now, in His mercy, she has entered into her rest, and her works do follow her.'
Pusey often used to say that a mother' s death makes the world a different world to all of us. He was speaking from his own experience. She had been more to him than most mothers are to the best of sons; and no mother, she used to say, could have had a better son than God had given her.
A year later, Pusey wrote to his brother William thus when his youngest son had passed away:--
'It is indeed a change to have no mother here, and that London should be a great solitude to one. Yet it was a long time for which she was given to us. Your object in going to Madeira was beautifully fulfilled by our good Father, and now they await us and pray for our perfecting and our coming. What a day of meeting!'
But Lady Lucy' s death affected Pusey in other ways. From that date, Pusey practically took leave of the two homes of his childhood. The house in Grosvenor Square soon passed into other hands. Pusey House was partly shut up during the minority of Dr. Pusey' s nephew: and he only visited the place on two occasions after that on which he stood by his mother' s grave on the Easter Eve of 1858. He shrank from visiting scenes, houses, and rooms which were associated with those whom he had loved in past years: he used to call them, generally, 'cities of the dead.' He dreaded the dissipation of energy which is sometimes caused by the reanimation of old sorrows: life, he would say, is too short to be spent on anything but the work which God has given us to do.
During the period referred to, the visits of death were not confined to Pusey' s family circle. At its beginning he lost Dr. W. H. Mill; at its close, the Rev. C. Marriott.
Pusey used to say that Mill was the greatest divine that Cambridge had produced in the present-century, probably since Pearson. As a very distinguished mathematician, an Oriental scholar of unusual accomplishments, and the master of a vigorous and dignified style, Mill would in any case have commanded the attention of the learned world. But he also possessed that distinctly theological habit of mind without which knowledge and capacity are not easily turned to account for the highest purposes; and--not to speak of his Sanscrit poem--he is probably seen at his best in his sermons on the Temptation, and in his powerful refutation of Strauss' s application of the Pantheistic philo–sophy to the interpretation of the Gospels. No other Cambridge man of equal eminence had devoted himself with such generous self-forgetful labour to the revival of Catholic truths in the Church of England; and when in 1848, the distinguished Principal of Bishop' s College, Cal–cutta, and the trusted Chaplain of Archbishop Howley, became Hebrew Professor at Cambridge, Pusey had scarcely set any bounds to his confident expectations that the sister University would take the lead in the promotion of 'true religion and useful learning,' as that phrase was understood by Churchmen. But Mill only held his chair for a short five years; his health was already undermined by his life of unremitting toil; and after a very short illness, he died at Brasted on Christmas Day, 1853.
'This,' wrote Pusey to the Rev. B. Webb, 'is indeed a very heavy blow, a blow to us all, the very heaviest to me next to dear J. K. I loved Dr. Mill extremely, little as our intercourse had been. . . I was thankful to hear of that peaceful close; how could it be other–wise? But to us the loss is irreparable. God have mercy upon us.'
A month before his brother' s death, on June 2, 1855. another death had occurred within the walls of Christ Church which Pusey felt deeply. Dean Gaisford had been no friend to the Church Movement in Oxford; his most careful thought was given to other matters, and even when dealing with ecclesiastical subjects his line of study was historical rather than theological. It was thought that in his administration of Christ Church he had inclined unduly against those with whose belief he did not sympathize. However this may have been, Pusey, himself a scholar, knew how to honour in Gaisford one of the great living English masters of the Greek language and literature; and on one occasion, when a story was repeated to him about the opposition of some younger men to Gaisford' s judg–ment, he exclaimed, for him very impatiently, 'There is more scholarship in Gaisford' s little finger than in all their heads put together.' Besides this, although Gaisford' s Con–servatism in religious matters had operated as a force unfriendly to that fuller theological faith which is, in the long run, and in the best sense of the word, the truest Conservatism, Pusey recognized the sterling character of Gaisford' s motives, even when opposing that which he had himself most deeply at heart. 'He thinks that he is opposing novelties; and this in religion is a very good thing. The only question is, what are really novelties and what not.' 'The Dean' s loss,' wrote Pusey to Keble, 'will make a great change in many ways, and not for good.'
In the same summer, a month later, he was deprived of the help and counsel of a friend, Charles Marriott, upon whose co-operation he depended more than on that of any other Oxford resident. On June 29, 1855, Marriott, on his return from a Commemoration at St. Peter' s College, Radley, of which he was one of the original 'Fellows,' was struck by paralysis, and although he lingered three years, his work was done. Since his return to Oxford in 1841, on his resignation of the Principalship of Chichester' Theological College, and especially after Newman' s with–drawal in 1843, Marriott had become Pusey' s most intimate and trusted ally; in the language of Oxford at the time, he 'succeeded to the vacant place in the Triumvirate' .
The twelve years of this close relationship comprised the most anxious period of Pusey' s life; and, next to Keble, Marriott contributed more than any other friend in the way of sympathy and counsel to enable him to sustain the burden of his position. But of their constant inter–course there is little record, owing to their living so close to one another at Christ Church and Oriel, and the little necessity in consequence of any written correspondence. The few letters that remain, written principally during vacations, are concerned with the details of literary work in which the friends had a common interest; more particularly they deal with the successive volumes of the Library of the Fathers, to which Marriott was so great and efficient a contributor. Regret has sometimes been expressed that so fine a mind as his should have been so largely spent in the 'immense quantity of hack-work' which was necessary in order to carry out this laborious enterprise; and that Marriott should have devoted to the correction of proofs and the construction of indexes time which might have been given to some Biblical Commentary or other original work. Such work, however, was an inevitable, although sad necessity, if the Library of the Fathers was to be edited at all, and there is no real doubt Pusey shared with his friend the drudgery of the undertaking. It is true, nevertheless, that in the language of self-depreciation and affectionate hyperbole, Pusey sometimes assigns to Marriott the whole merit of editing the Library of the Fathers .
What a high estimate Pusey had formed of his friend' s work is evident from the subjoined passage:--
'Full of activity in the cause of truth and religious knowledge, full of practical benevolence, expending himself, his strength, his paternal 'inheritance, in works of piety and charity, in one night his [Marriott' s] labour was closed, and he was removed from active duty to wait in stillness for his Lord' s last call. His friends may perhaps rather thankfully wonder, that God allowed one, threatened in many ways with severe disease, to labour for Him so long and so variously, than think it strange that He suddenly, and for them prematurely, allowed him thus far to enter into his rest. To those who knew him best, it has been a marvel how, with health so frail, he was enabled in such various ways, and for so many years, to do active good in his genera–tion. Early called, and ever obeying the call, he has been allowed both active duty and an early rest' .
Marriott lived on, though an invalid, with his brother, the Rev. John Marriott, Curate of Bradfield, Berks, and passed away on Sept. 15, 1858. Pusey was in Cornwall, and too remote to travel up for the funeral.
At the end of that year Keble wrote to Pusey:--
'What a season this has been for the departure of old friends! John Miller, Ellison, C. Marriott, W. Barter, and, as I have just heard, Frank Dyson. The tide seems fast encroaching on one' s island; pray, dear friend, that one may be ready.'