Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM IN OXFORD--SERMONS ON
THE NATURE OF FAITH--THE NEW PROFESSOR OF
GREEK--PROPOSED INCREASE OF ENDOWMENT FOR
THE GREEK CHAIR--PROSECUTION OF PROFESSOR
JOWETT--ENDOWMENT OF THE CHAIR.
THE new University régime which was inaugurated in October, 1854, represented of course far more than a change. in the outward arrangements of Academical life. It was coincident with the dominance of a new spirit in the thought of the University; and with this spirit it was obvious that the Church was now bound to reckon. The danger of uncontrolled and unbalanced reasoning on the facts of Revelation had long been anticipated; and it had many years been leavening a small section of English ought. But at this time it threatened to attain a power and prominence in Oxford which suggested the gravest results a later period both within and without the University.
The Tractarian Movement has generally been described as an attempt to effect a 'High Church' revival, by re-asserting those portions of the Church' s teaching which the popular 'Evangelicalism' was in danger of overlooking. This indeed was its immediate and most obvious result; but the Tractarians were not ultimately concerned with the defi–ciencies of Evangelicalism. They were chiefly thinking of the assaults of 'Liberalism' upon the institution and faith of the Church. They were convinced that the only adequate protection against such assaults was to be found in strength–ening a position which Evangelicalism had not thought it worth while to occupy.
Cardinal Newman has told us that these fears filled his mind during his foreign tour in 1832 and 1833; 'I had,' he wrote, 'fierce thoughts against the Liberals.' The letters of that date from Keble, Newman, Froude, Rose, Perceval and all who took part in the 'Association of Friends of the Church,' show that they were keenly alive to the reality of this danger. But the ordinary Englishman was far from being aware of the principles and tendency of the Liberal school of theology. He heard proposals in Parliament and elsewhere for abolishing Irish bishoprics, and for strange changes in English Cathedrals; but he knew nothing of the theological and ecclesiastical presuppositions which underlay these changes. Newman alluded to this connexion between 'Liberal' theology and some of the Parliamentary measures of 1832 in a retrospective passage of the Advertisement to the third volume of the 'Tracts.' 'Irreligious principles and false doctrines which had hitherto been avowed only in the closet, or on paper, had just been admitted into public measures on a large scale.' Already in 1835, the practical questions had fallen into the background, but the question of theological principle was becoming more apparent. The subject is discussed by Newman at the close of that year in a lengthy Tract (No. 73) 'on the Introduction of Rationalistic Principles into Religion' ; at the end of this Tract he calls attention to the 'subjectivity' of Evangelicalism, which he considered its great weakness, and which, to his mind, rendered it useless as a defence of Church doctrine. The concluding paragraph is sufficient to explain what Newman meant. While exposing Rationalism, he was looking round for traces of its spirit nearer home. He says that the Evangelical appeal to the heart alone shared the fatal defect of one-sidedness that belonged also to that exclusive appeal to reason against which the early Evangelicals had nobly revolted. 'I will conclude by summing up in one sentence, which must be pardoned me if in appearance harsh, what the foregoing discussion is intended to show. There is a widely spread though variously admitted school of doctrine among us, within and without the Church, which intends and pro–fesses peculiar piety, as directing its attention to the heart itself, not to anything external to us, whether creed, actions, or ritual. I do not hesitate to assert that this doctrine is based upon error, that it is really a specious form of trusting man rather than God, that it is in its nature Rationalistic, and that it tends to Socinianism. How the individual supporters of it will act as time goes on is another matter,--the good will be separated from the bad, but the school, as such, will pass through Sabel–lianism to that " God-denying Apostasy," to use the ancient phrase, to which in the beginning of its career it professed to be especially opposed' . The following year witnessed the first skirmish of the coming struggle in the agitation which sprang up against the appointment of Hampden as Regius Professor of Divinity.
Pusey, too, it will be remembered, had in early days been painfully brought into contact with the same spirit in the German lecture-rooms. The words have already been quoted in which he describes the moment during his stay at Gottingen in 1825, when he first realized the condition of theology and religion in Germany, and was able to anticipate the future of English Academical thought. 'This,' he reflected, 'will all come upon us in England, and how utterly unprepared for it we are!' In his first book 6n the causes of the rationalistic character of German theology, he traced it mainly to the decay of belief, to the absence of any vigorous healthful religious life in German Protestantism, to what he called its 'dead orthodoxism.' In writing this book, he had his eye on the condition of the English Church. 'I feared,' he explained to Rose, 'lest people in England were verging towards Rationalism ... lest cold dry views on the one hand, and especially a decayed Pietism on the other, might find their parallel among us and bring in Rationalism here also.' In speaking thus he is expressing his dread of that attitude of mind which allows Reason to limit the possibilities of Revelation, instead of confining itself to its legitimate work of testing its evidence and understanding its moral weight. Tractarianism attracted him at first perhaps by its life and reality, and, throughout, his interest extended always beyond the assertion of doctrine as doctrine, to the restora–tion and extension of everything that could win souls to the Christian faith and thereby establish them in practical holiness.
The influence of Newman, and in his own way of Pusey also, during the twelve years between 1833 and 1845 did not a little to check this spirit of Rationalism, and to pre–pare the Church to resist it if it should grow stronger. Many of the ablest and most highly cultured minds found refuge from this tendency in the fuller restatement of the whole Catholic creed which the Tractarians set before them; and it was a common saying when the Heads of Houses Were taking their measures against Newman, 'You may crush Tractarianism, but then you will have to deal with Germanism.' This was very soon found to be true. After the Academical overthrow of the Tractarians as a party in 1845, and the consequent suspicion and discredit which fell on them, a new and more vigorous school of Liberal Theologians began to gain a wider influence in Oxford. Dean Church has left an interesting sketch of the differences between the Oxford Theological Liberals before 1833 and after 1845. Whateley was the representative of the earlier, and Stanley of the later school' .
'The older Oxford Liberals were either intellectually aristocratic, dissecting the inaccuracies or showing up the paralogisms of the current orthodoxy; or they were poor in character, Liberals from the zest of sneering and mocking at what was received and established, or from the convenience of getting rid of strict and troublesome rules of life. They patronized Dissenters; they gave Whig votes; they made free, in a mild way, with the pet conventions and prejudices of Tories and High Churchmen. There was nothing inspiring in them, however much men might respect their correct and sincere lives. But a younger set of men brought, mainly from Rugby and Arnold' s teaching, a new kind of Liberalism. It was much bolder and more independent than the older forms, less inclined to put up with the traditional, more searching and inquisitive in its methods, more suspicious and daring in its criticism; but it was much larger in its views and its sympathies, and, above all, it was imaginative, it was enthusiastic, and, without much of the devotional temper, it was penetrated by a sense of the reality and seriousness of religion. It saw greater hopes in the present and the future than the Tractarians. It disliked their reverence for the past and the received, as inconsistent with what seemed evidence of the providential order of great and fruitful change. It could not enter into their discipline of character, and shrank from it as antiquated, unnatural and narrow.'
Tractarianism was sufficiently definite to have been crushed by direct attack; but it was difficult to find any weapons to wield against this new foe. 'Germanism' in fact in those days was by its own nature peculiarly able to evade assault. Its weapons were questionings, hints, doubts, suspicions, undigested and exaggerated criticism and distorted historical analogies. The perils to be appre–hended from it were those which are always incident to a period of transition. Questions involving entirely new considerations had to be discussed at length: the whole evidence, and the methods of dealing with it, had to be tested by laborious study before any conclusion could be reached. But in the meanwhile the negative hints, which in the mind of the critical theologian are sometimes balanced and ked by strong personal faith, would be working havoc the minds of the simple, or the indifferent, or the impat–ient. To arrest at least for the moment the destructive action of this unscientific and untested criticism, it seemed best to set forth the faith of the historic Church both in its corporate fullness, and in its inner reality as appre–hended by the soul through grace. It was felt advisable to utter a serious warning against two great dangers--the danger of seeking for faith by a mere intellectual process of reasoning and study of evidences, and the danger of mistaking the reasoned apprehension of fragments of the Christian Creed for self-surrender to the completeness of the Revelation of God.
In view of such anxieties as these, and feeling the great need of protecting the rising generation of University men, Pusey availed himself of the opportunity of setting forth the origin, nature, and conditions of Christian faith in two sermons which he was called upon to preach before the University in the Michaelmas Term of 1855. The theme of the former of the two sermons is given in the following words:--
'Faith, from first to last, is the gift of God to the soul, which will receive it. God prepares the soul, with its will, not without it, to receive the Faith. God stills the soul, that it may listen to the Faith; God flashes conviction into the soul, that it may see the truth of the Faith; in those who through His grace persevere to the end, God seals up the Faith in the soul, that it may keep the Faith which it has received, unchanged, undiminished, unadulterated, the source of life and love and holiness, until faith is swallowed up in the blessed-making sight of Him Whom, unseen, it believed.'
The Scriptural evidence of this truth, that all faith is the gift of God, Pusey places in contrast with the language in which it is often assumed 'that the province of Reason is antecedent to that of Faith,' and with the aggressions of natural intellect in regard to things above nature.
'Reason, unaided, cannot even penetrate into the sphere of the objects of Faith; nor can it, in any case, discern their substance or measure them by earthly laws. But Reason, healed, restored, guided, enlightened, by the Spirit of God, has a power of vision above nature, and can spiritually discern a fitness, and correspondence, and harmony in the things of God which, through faith, it has received and believed.'
'Intellect, penetrated by the Spirit of God, irradiated by His light, kindled by the glow of Divine love, reflects to after-ages the light which it has caught, illumines mysteries, guards truth, unfolds our spiritual nature, orders the whole sum and relations and proportions of Divine and human knowledge. But intellect, unenlightened by Divine light, intuitive as it may be in human things, is blind in Divine.' . . . 'All its natural knowledge cannot decipher the very alphabet of 'the supernatural.'
The temptation, then, of a highly intellectual age is to imagine that a grace which is wholly the gift of God can be commanded by the power and secured by the grasp of the natural intellect: to forget that 'humility, simplicity, candour of soul, integrity of the will, are the true, because the faithful, recipients of Divine knowledge.' For 'God set free the intellect, not by overpowering arguments addressed to itself, but by bursting the bonds whereby it was held, and removing the, scales whereby the light, which should enlighten it, was excluded.' 'He imparted to faith, what learning helped not, and ignorance hindered not, to receive.'
But 'since faith is the gift of God through grace, whatever injures grace, weakens Faith. Faith may live on for a time without love, and become what is called an historic Faith. But Faith without love has no root. For 'we are " rooted and grounded in love." It is the last judgment of God upon the soul which will not live as it believes, that at the end it believes as it lives.'
Having shown in the former of the two Sermons how faith is, 'at every stage in its increase, the gift of God, and how the knowledge of Divine things lies wholly beyond the dominion of the natural intellect, Pusey goes on in the latter Sermon to teach the essential unreserve and self-surrender of the true act of Faith.
'Faith, whether in God or man, is an implicit, full, unswerving reliance in the Being Who is the object of Faith. If it is not absoluteor perfect, it is not Faith.' 'Faith is one and indivisible.' 'Whatever touches Faith in God in one point, touches the whole spiritual being.' 'He who rejects any one revealed truth, does not hold whatever other truth he does not part with, out of submission to the authority of God Who has revealed it, but because it approves itself in some way to his own natural mind and judgment. What he holds, he holds of him–self, accounting it to be truth, not as Faith.'
It follows that the denial of revealed truth which begins at one point is ever tending to spread to the whole fabric. The proverb 'nemo repente turpissimus' finds its analogy in the progress of theoretic unbelief. 'This is a character–istic of all who have parted with faith, that they began with some one point. They parted, as they thought, with one point, of Faith; the event showed that they parted with the Faith itself.' This general statement is copiously illustrated by Pusey from the history of heresy. In case after case--
'The form of heresy was different; the principle was the same. Man trusted his own conceptions of what a Revelation from God should be, what it were fitting for the Infinite God to do and be, rather than submit blindly to what God had revealed of Himself, that, not trusting in his own light, he might receive, pure and unmixed, the light from God.' Men 'make their own notions the criterion of the Mind of God; not the revealed Mind of God the corrective of their own thoughts.'
The tendency which he has thus traced in the past, Pusey then characterizes in its modern forms in the inclination " to remove from religion all which is austere,' 'all which shocks 'our sensitiveness or our taste, or our ways of thinking, or which requires a decided submission of our minds' : in the drawing 'distinctions, what is to be really matter of Revelation, and what not' : in the assertion that 'our Lord and His Apostles " accommodated themselves" to the then prevailing notions in matters which (it is assumed) do not, affect the centre of religion; i.e. in part they taught the Truth of God, in part they countenanced human error.' Lastly, the fore-assured failure of all attempts to bring Revealed Truth within the limits which natural reason might have devised for it, is shown by pointing to the 'one overwhelming, heavy, impenetrable cloud' which as a matter of fact weighs on all which we see of God' s creation, 'the mystery of evil in the works of God, Almighty, All-wise, and All-good, can neither be ex–plained, nor softened, in any system of religion or irreligion. And in the face of that unintelligible mystery,
'It were against reason to require, as a condition of our belief, that we should understand anything bound up with the existence of evil.' 'Since the existence of evil is absolutely inexplicable, it is an unreasonable cavil to except against the extermination of the Canaanites, or the eternity of punishment, or any doctrine of the Atonement, as contrary to the attributes of God. For since we cannot in the least understand how the existence of evil at all is reconcilable with the attributes of God, plainly we cannot understand what is a part and consequence of what we understand not.'
'Meanwhile, one Unfailing Light there ever is in our remaining darkness, to which, if we cleave, our darkness will be light around us. Truths of God wear a very different aspect as we scrutinize, speculate, theorize, criticize, or as we love, adore, reverence, hearken, obey.'
'Only fix steadfastly in thy heart what God Is, and what thou.'
The two Sermons set forth very impressively the preacher' s conviction as to the rightful use and the unwarrantable assumptions of Reason in regard to supernatural Truth: they show clearly and powerfully how he would bid the intellect bear itself in the presence of God' s Revelation. And it is almost impossible to read them without a deep sense of the solid strength of the position which is thus taken up. They explain how vitally important Pusey considered that position to be, and how it was involved all those great conflicts which, under varying conditi–ons and ways, claimed so much of his time and labour during the rest of his life.
It was clear at various points in the course of the sermons that Pusey had in mind certain dangers which were imminent and threatening at that very time. He spoke as having before him--as expecting that many of his hearers would have before them--certain recent publications: and Notes and Appendices added to the Sermons when they came to be printed made it clear what these were. Foremost among them was an Essay on the Doctrine of the Atonement, published in that year (1855) by the Rev. B. Jowett, the Professor of Greek, in his Commentary on St. Paul' s Epistles to 'the Thessalonians, Romans, and Galatians. This Essay Pusey subjects to severe and de–tailed criticism in one of the notes to his two Sermons. He shows how very inadequate its statements are as to the very centre of Christian Faith in the Atonement and the Person of our Lord.
Incidental allusions in letters show the depth and strength of Pusey' s conviction in regard to the character and ten–dency of Mr. Jowett' s theological teaching. He was indeed among the most conspicuous, able, and effective representatives of a school which Pusey felt himself bound to meet with unqualified opposition: a school whose influence he judged to be most gravely harmful. Any act which seemed to show indifference to such views, or which might be regarded as an encouragement to the opinions which Mr. Jowett had published, would have seemed to Pusey a betrayal of the trust he held in Oxford for the religious welfare of the University and its students.
While these most serious questions were occupying Pusey' s mind he was called to consider the proposal that the University should be asked to vote £300 a year for the increased endowment of the Regius Professorship of Greek, to which in 1855 Mr. Jowett had been appointed. This proposal was the beginning of a long, confused, unhappy conflict. Until that date, the stipend of the Professor of Greek had been only £38 a year. This had been felt for many years to be quite inadequate. In fact when Dean Gaisford was Professor, the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church .had sent a petition to the First University Commission and requested that, in case of any further diversion of their revenues to University purposes, and in case no other provision was made for the Professor of Greek, some of their own property should be allotted to that Professorship when it next fell vacant. This offer the missioners had declined, without however making any vision for the Chair. But now when it was proposed t the University, itself should provide the increased endowment, and when Mr. Jowett' s labours as Professor were made the ground of the increase, other considerations, academic and religious, had to be taken into account. From an academical point of view it is necessary to bear in mind that the Professorship of Greek was founded by King Henry VIII, and endowed by him, as were also the other Regius Professorships; and the Crown still retained the right of appointment. A serious constitutional question therefore would arise as soon as it was proposed that the University should provide the money for increasing the endowment of a Crown appointment--a question which had been already raised successfully against the proposal of the First University Commission to vest the appointment to all newly created professorships in the hands of the Crown. Ought not the University, it was asked, to have some voice in the appointments, for which it provides all a large part of the funds? Besides, there was another of Henry VIII' s Professorships, that of Civil Law, almost as poorly endowed as the Greek Chair. Ought not both the cases to be considered together? Moreover, from the point of view of the religious character of the University ,a far more difficult question arose. The University Statutes still required that its Professors should not teach anything contrary to and inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church of England. Did not the University wish to maintain this requirement of the Statutes? Oxford was still regarded as a Church University: would it not appear the Church was indifferent to the theological teaching of the clergy, if the University seemed to bestow a mark of favour on one of its clerical Professors who contravened the teaching of the Church?
Probably the judgment which will rise in most minds first glancing back at this episode, without considering the full all the conditions of the moment, will be that would have been best to acquiesce in the measure, as an act of justice, and to let any one who would make what controversial advantage he could out of it. But as has been shown the proposal was by no means a simple one. To avoid serious misunderstanding it would have been. necessary to set it forth in some form which would safe–guard the rights of the University over the use of its own money, and which would be consistent with the still surviving tradition of the religious character of that body. The early form of this proposal ignored all these, difficulties. Pusey never diverged from the line of endeavouring to increase the stipend. He conscientiously voted against all proposals which ignored the serious character of the academical and religious opposition; but he laboured throughout, more strenuously than any of the Professor' s friends, to discover a scheme which would give substantial justice to all the interests that were involved.
The first mention of the matter in Pusey' s correspondence is in a letter to Keble, written in May, 1858:--
'It is proposed,' he writes, 'to endow the Regius Professorship of Greek with £300. There is no doubt that it will pass Council. It is the Professorship, not the Professor, which is endowed; i.e. the terms of the notice are, that the Professorship be increased. But I cannot, in my own mind, separate them. . . It seems to me that we should be declaring ourselves indifferent as to Professor Jowett' s misbelief if we make the grant.'
At the same time it is clear that Pusey was fully aware I that to oppose any scheme for providing a reasonable income for one who was well known to be working very hard with his pupils would be liable to misconstruction. He thought therefore of moving for a Committee to report to the Council on Professor Jowett' s book, as had been done in Ward' s case: and he was also considering various ways in which the endowment might be justly increased without prejudice to the University and without risk of harm to the cause which he had at heart. One plan which he suggests to Keble in a letter, apparently of May 24, 1858, is that the consideration of the matter 'should be deferred until the whole case of the Regius Professors be considered.' 'Civil Law,' he adds, 'is almost as poorly endowed.'
The proposal came before the Council early in June, 1858; some members opposed on the religious ground. Pusey reserved that point, but urged the constitutional difficulty about the relation to the Crown. His anticipation as to the immediate issue was not fulfilled, for the motion was lost by a decided majority.
The question came to the front again in the Michaelmas Term of 1859:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
Stanley is agitating the resident Masters to memorialize the Council to endow Jowett until his Professorship shall be otherwise endowed. This is, of course, a personal act of favour to Jowett… If a grant is made to him, we pledge ourselves to indifference as to religious belief for the future. It is possible that the grant may be stopped in Council; but Scott and Jacobson are supporters of it, on the ground that we must separate the Professor from his creed. 'He works well as Greek Professor, therefore he is to be endowed.' ... I think that the only alternative of a controversy like the Hampden one would be to let it go by default, and assent to the principle that the University takes no notice of any heresy or unbelief in its secular teachers.
In answer to this letter Keble writes on November 8, 1859:--
'If I were in the Council, I think I should certainly start what I call the Constitutional objection to this grant, viz. that it is not good to. increase the influence of the Crown in the University, and that if we increase a Professor' s stipend, we ought to have some check on his appointment. On which ground I should object to augmenting your stipend as much as Jowett' s.'
In the event of defeat on this point, Keble was inclined to assent to the proposed increase of the endowment of the Professorship; but he would at the same time have signified openly, and if possible put it on record, that
'This grant on the part of the University must not be understood as implying any favourable judgment of the theological views of the present Professor as expressed in such and such passages.'
The proposed grant was again rejected on November 14; but it was clear this was not the end. Early in the January of 1860 Pusey writes again to Keble:--
'The Jowett business much perplexes me. . . . I should have no objection to the endowment if it could be made apparent that it was not personal.'
He suggests that the increase might be made in one of the following ways:--
'If Government were asked whether, if the University would endow the Chair, they would adopt the precedent as to the Chairs endowed by Colleges, and place the appointment in the hands of certain high officers of the Crown, instead of the Prime Minister only, with e.g., the Chancellor of the University. The same might be proposed as to the Regius Professorship of Civil Law, which is only £100 per annum.
'Another plan might be to take into consideration the whole subject of the endowment of Professors. If Jowett' s endowment came as part of a batch, I should not think it so mischievous. It would not be .. personal. But now it is simply a vote of honour.'
During the Easter Vacation Pusey entered upon a long correspondence on this subject with Mr. Gladstone, as a member pf the Government. He laid before him the following scheme which might, as he thought, find favour with the University, and in regard to which he hoped it might be possible for Mr. Gladstone to obtain a 'prima .facie' opinion from Lord Palmerston ;--that the University should provide for the increase (to £600 a year) of the endowment of the two scantily-endowed Regius Professorships, those of Civil Law and of Greek; that, in consideration of the great increase in value thus conferring upon these two Chairs, the Crown should in their case appoint always, not on the single recommendation of the Prime Minister, but on the recommendation of Boards; on which the University should be represented. Mr. Gladstone~entered with much interest into the suggestion, but felt that, as a member of the Ministry, he could hardly venture 'to form individually a definitive opinion on a plan relating to Crown appointments which the head of the Government might afterwards disapprove.' Early in the following Term Pusey steadily pushed forward his proposal, and brought it at last in a definite shape before the Hebdomadal Council. It was generally welcomed; and the Vice-Chancellor advised him to send a draft of the plan to Mr. Gladstone, unofficially, but 'in the name of an influential Committee,' with the request that it might be communicated to Lord Palmerston. 'No one to whom I have mentioned the subject,' Pusey writes, 'has expressed any disagreement from the plan. It has received the concurrence of leading persons of different parties.' The matter was, however, delayed by the near approach of the triennial election of the Council.
At an election in the Michaelmas Term of 1860 among the Professors returned to the Hebdomadal Council were Dr. Hawkins, Dr. Pusey, and Dr. Stanley, the number of votes being equal for the second and third, In the reconstituted Council Stanley tried again to force on the separate endowment of the Greek Professorship, and quoted the Bishop of Oxford as sharing his views. Pusey immediately appealed to the Bishop, giving a brief history of the dispute up to the moment.
E. B. P. TO BISHOP WILBERFORCE.
Christ Church, October 31 .
Dr. Stanley' having quoted to me your Lordship' s name, as wishing Professor Jowett' s chair to be endowed, I wish to state to you how matters now stand.
The majority, of Council resisted the vote of a direct and personal augmentation of Professor Jowett' s income, partly on the ground that, since his endowment came from the Crown and the Professorship is in its nomination, the duty, if any, lay on the Crown. The University is not bound to augment Crown patronage. But the deeper ground was, that since Professor Jowett is a sceptic, denying all which a Socinian denies, it would be very evil for the University to do any act which should look like personal favour to Professor Jowett.
However, to avoid heart-burnings, I proposed last. time in Council that we should inquire of Lord Palmerston whether he would recom–mend to the Crown to allow the nomination of the two ill-endowed Professorships of Civil Law and Greek to be vested in a. Board in which Government should have the majority, but the University be represented (after the pattern of the Boards formed by the Oxford Commission), provided the University would endow. Lord Palmerston assented to the principle. I proposed, accordingly, last Monday to carry on the negotiations. Nothing remained but to settle the Boards, about which there would be no difference of opinion. I hoped that, the question being thus removed from the Professor to the Professorship, the Professorship might have been endowed, and Professor Jowett might have had his £400 a year, and the University not have been committed in any way to any personal approbation of Professor Jowett.
The whole might have been completed in the present term, and the salary, if it was thought well, might have dated from its com–mencement.
In this state of things, Professor Stanley gave notice that he should move that Professor Jowett' s chair should be endowed at once with £300, per annum, until it be permanently endowed. This, while it offers to Professor Jowett less than my arrangement would give him, would effectually defeat mine. For if the University, without con–ditions, endows the chair with £300 per annum, it would have nothing to offer to Lord Palmerston as a ground for vesting the nomination in. a Board.
The only real object of Professor Stanley' s motion can be to make the vote one of confidence in Professor Jowett.
Has your Lordship read the article on Neo-Christianity in the last Westminster Review, in which the reviewer clearly, though painfully, shows that the writers of the Essays teach the same as themselves, the human origin of the Bible and its absolute want of Authority?
I doubt whether Professor Stanley is to be moved. But I write this to your Lordship that I may know what to say if your name should be quoted against me.
The Bishop replied that in his conversation with Dr. Stanley he had entirely misunderstood the question, that he considered Pusey' s proposal in every respect far the best, and would greatly lament any vote which implied confidence in Professor Jowett as a teacher of theology.
Stanley' s motion was again rejected; and before the end of 1860 Pusey was able to tell Mr. Gladstone that his own plan had been passed by the council, and to, send itto him in a printed form.
In regard to this plan Pusey hoped that 'it may both put an end to heart-burnings, and be for the permanent good of the University' ; Mr. Gladstone thought it 'both liberal and wise' ; Sir George C. Lewis wrote to Lord Palmerston: 'So far from seeing any objection to the proposed arrangements, I think them very advantageous; and at last, after another long delay, Lord Palmerston wrote to Mr. Gladstone the following letter:--
94, Piccadilly, April 14, 1861.
MY DEAR GLADSTONE,
I am perfectly ready to agree to the Oxford plan for improving certain Professorships, the only point, as far as I understand the matter, with regard to which my concurrence is required, being the change proposed to be made with respect to the Regius Professor–ship. It is proposed that a University element should share in the choice of the person to fill such Professorship. I am quite willing, as First Lord of the Treasury, to concur in such an arrangement.,
Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone.
This letter Mr. Gladstone forwarded to the Vice-Chan–cellor, 'wishing a happy issue to the proposals.' But while these negotiations were going on, this matter of University policy was gravely complicated by the outburst of an agitation which was felt through the whole Church of England. This arose out of the publication of a volume of collected 'Essays and Reviews,' of which a fuller account will be given in the following chapter. To this collection the professor of Greek had contributed an essay on the interpretation of Scripture. His essay in itself seemed to many is theological position still more untenable, while association with writings which gave yet deeper offence intensified the opposition to him. The whole volume was causing the greatest excitement throughout the country, and was threatened with synodical condemnation by the Convocation of Canterbury; two of its contributors were being prosecuted in the Ecclesiastical Court of Arches, at the very moment when, on May 7, 1861, Pusey' s plan for augmenting the two Professorships was submitted to the Convocation of the University. It was vigorously opposed by the Provost of Oriel, who reminded the University that the Statutes forbade any Professor to utter anything 'quod Fidei Catholicae adversatur' . Pusey defended the scheme and claimed that it was framed in such a manner as to preclude personal considerations. Stanley thanked him for his advocacy of the compromise. On a division, however, the proposal was defeated by ninety-one votes to seventy.
The issue of the debate was more than a heavy dis–appointment to Pusey. Certainly he had worked hard in the matter; Stanley more than once publicly thanked him for 'his indomitable perseverance in pushing the question forward.' But the majority against the plan was swelled not only by several Liberals who, while they sympathized with the Greek Professor, objected to this particular method of increasing his stipend, but also by not a few of Pusey' s own nearest friends. Some of them were determined, even before the publication of 'Essays and Reviews,' not in any way to endow the Chair of Greek so long as it was held by Jowett: amid there were many others who, without any clear realization of the difficulties with which the question was encumbered, were beginning to lose their trust in Pusey because the plan which he proposed did not at first sight commend itself to them.
Keble was far too clear sighted not to perceive the damage this adverse vote would inflict on the Church and the difficulties in which it involved Pusey. Writing to Liddon, who had voted with the majority, he says, 'You too, and all of us' .. . are 'bound in equity to consider the pressure which lies upon persons trusted with government, and which, in more cases perhaps than not, forces them. to adopt the least of two evils instead of what is abstractedly. best.' In the same letter Keble showed how completely he himself trusted Pusey' s action in proposing a scheme which would involve the increased endowment of the Greek Chair, and how much he regretted the failure of that scheme: 'Whatever you do,' he adds to Liddon, 'beware of taking towards him a suspicious or aggrieved tone.... As things are, the grievance, I should say, is much more on his side.' The sequel will show how true this estimate was. Had Pusey' s scheme been carried in May, 1861, all the events described in the rest of this chapter would have happened, and all the bitterness that ensued from them would have been avoided.
As it was, Pusey felt very deeply that in a critical moment he had been deserted by many from whom he might reasonably have expected support; and he wrote to Liddon:--
'For myself I am minded (though I shall do nothing hastily) to resign my seat in Council, and retire from the politics of the University. I have enough to occupy me in the " Commentary" . I have given up for some time the hope of doing good in Council. I cannot 'even prevent evil.'
It seems clear that his whole heart had been set on the compromise. Had it been accepted, it would, without showing any partiality towards Professor Jowett' s teaching, have provided the increased endowment to the Professorship and thus have settled this troublesome matter.
But if Churchmen would not vote for Pusey' s plan, still less could they accept Stanley' s proposals. On the same day that Convocation had thus defeated Pusey, a meeting of the Congregation of the University was held, at which was promulgated a form of Statute for the augmentation of several other poorly endowed Professorships, which, being entirely in the gift of the University, were free from the special difficulties of the Regius Professorships. Professor Stanley took this opportunity for a renewed effort, and moved, as an amendment, to add the Regius Professorship of Greek to those mentioned in the Statute. The proposal was obviously too grave to be taken in a thin meeting after a Session of nearly three hours; the debate therefore was adjourned to May 16, when Pusey spoke against Stanley' s motion on the ground that, by isolating the Professorship of Greek from 'the other poorly endowed Regius Professorship, it made the grant too much a personal matter. He was quite ready to vote for the increased endowment of the Greek Chair, but only because of its claim as a poorly endowed Professorship. Stanley on the other hand with singular infelicity laid the main stress on the extremely valuable work of the Professor who then held the chair. Stanley' s motion was thrown out. In the same term Pusey again brought forward a proposal to request Lord Palmerston to insert a clause into the New University Bill, which would facilitate any proceedings in connexion with the endowment of the Chairs of Greek and Civil Law. This further scheme was laid before Convocation on June 6, and again rejected.
Once more the matter came before Congregation in the form suggested by Stanley. On November 20, 1861, a Statute was promulgated proposing the increase of the stipends of the Professor of Greek, and of six other professors, to £400 a year. The Statute was introduced by Stanley in a long speech, which was not calculated to pacify opponents, inasmuch as it laid far more stress on the personal claims of the Professor because of his valuable work than on the claims of the Professorship because of its poverty. In consequence of this form of advocacy Pusey felt obliged to oppose the measure not only on constitutional, but also on the more personal theological grounds, again expressing his regret that his own efforts for a neutral course had been unsuccessful. After a very long and rather hot debate the matter was adjourned. It was resumed on Tuesday, November 26, and the Statute was rejected by ninety-nine votes to ninety-six.
On the following day an article appeared in the Guardian in opposition to Pusey' s attitude on this question; the writer asserted that
'It has been felt by many of those most averse to Professor Jowett' s theological teaching, and we confess to a participation in the feeling that substantial justice required that he should receive an adequate remuneration for his labours as a Professor, notwithstanding that as a writer he has taken a line which they would be among the last to defend.'
This article was criticized by Pusey in a letter, which is valuable as stating at length the grounds on which he felt constrained to oppose the endowment in spite of the seeming claim of justice. He was well aware of the obloquy to which his action exposed him. He laid much stress on the question of patronage, and on the Christian character of the University, which was implied, as in other ways, so expressly in its regulations with regard to Pro–fessorships. This, it may be mentioned, is a point: which must especially be borne in mind when, thirty years after the event, and under greatly altered conditions, we endeavour to estimate the controversy. He further urged that it seemed an uncalled for confidence in all future Prime Ministers to endow the Greek Chair tenfold out of the funds of the University, and then to place the nomination, without reservation and without check, in the hands of the Prime Ministers; and he contended that the precedents which had been adduced for such a course were imperfectly analogous. 'But,' he went on to argue.--
'though this was a real objection to the proposed plan, of course, that which lay nearest to the hearts of Christians was the conviction that by making a direct grant to Professor Jowett we should have been endorsing his religious scepticism. Others may be able to separate the Professor from the writer; we could not. . . .
'As a Christian University, we are just as much bound to regard the Faith of Christ as His laws. We pray God weekly that " true religion may ever flourish and abound" among us. Our Statutes inculcate the performance of our ordinary professorial duties; but they inculcate as solemnly, that none of us " directe vel indirecte doceat, vel dogmatice asserat, quod fidei Catholicae vel bonis moribus ulla ex parte adversatur." But the University does not restrain this to oar direct teaching in our offices. It does not mean that Professors may use all the weight which their office gives them to disseminate scepticism or misbelief, to " sow doubt broadcast" through the land, provided they throw a veil over it in their Chairs. It does not so limit its prohibition. It speaks not of lectures but of Professors, and what it forbids in one place it forbids everywhere.'
In the same issue of the Guardian with this letter appeared a second leading article entitled 'One Word more about the Greek Professorship.' The writer fully recognizes that there is in the view taken by Pusey, and by others who had spoken in the same sense, much that is natural and plausible; but he goes on to urge what had already often been urged by others:--
'It seems to be admitted that Mr. Jowett cannot be formally challenged by the University, notwithstanding that the University Statutes are so clear against unsound teaching.' . .. 'It seems to us, we must say, an unfit course for a body like the University, when an instrument of direct attack is unavailable, to resort to the employment of indirect means, of discouragement. If it cannot turn him out of the Professorship it is not indeed to be asked to favour him, but it ought not to withhold what his Professorship gives him a title to.' ...
In accordance with this argument, the Professor' s friends had often demanded that the definite charge of' heresy should be preferred in the proper court, and Pusey recog–nized the force of this claim. He himself was anxious to endow the Chair in spite of the opinions of its occupant. If it could have been done without any appearance of partiality and with due regard to the University' s patronage. But many others still steadily refused to put on one side their hostility to Professor Jowett' s opinions and to vote for the increased endowment while he continued to hold the Chair; and so long as Pusey was unable to command their votes, he could not secure the passing of his own plan for augmentation; while at the same time he was bound to oppose Stanley' s proposals, because to him they, always savoured of partiality. In the circumstances Pusey thought there was nothing to be done but directly to challenge the orthodoxy of the Professor. If that were to succeed, the idea of an increased endowment would for the present be withdrawn: if it failed, he could not imagine that there could be any reasonable ground for continued opposition on the part of even the most conserva–tive of his friends. This conviction is expressed in a letter to Keble on Feb. 4, 1862.
The best course therefore seemed to be to prosecute Professor Jowett in the Vice-Chancellor' s Court, on the ground of those passages in his Commentary and in his Essay which. appeared to contravene the authoritative teaching of the Church of England. Accordingly in the earlier part of the ensuing Long Vacation Pusey gathered together the chief passages on which such a prosecution might be based, and sent them to a solicitor, that they might be put into form, as a Case to be submitted to the Queen' s Advocate, Dr. Phillimore. The process of drafting the Case proved long; and it was not, apparently, until late in September that it was laid before him. His opinion bears date October 12, 1862, and is to the following effect. With respect (1) to the Doctrines of the Atonement, Satis–faction for Sin, Vicarious Suffering of our Saviour, he finds that
'the writer in these' (passages quoted from the Commentary) 'and in other passages, and, as it seems to me, by the whole tenour of his argument, does contradict the doctrine contained in the Thirty-nine Articles and the Liturgy, and set up another and a different doctrine in the place of it.'
Similarly, with respect (2) to the Ipspiration of Holy Scripture, he finds that passages in Professor Jowett' s Essay are 'certainly at variance with, and contradictory of the doctrine of the Church of England as contained in her 'formularies,' according to the recent judgment of the Dean of Arches in the suits which arose out of 'Essays and Reviews' : and with respect (3) to the Three Creeds he finds that language in the Essay 'plainly contradicts' the Eight Article. Dr. Phillimore further gave it as his opinion that the Vice-Chancellor would be bound to admit articles containing charges of heresy, or of preaching doc–trines contrary to the Church of England, against any Professor resident in the University, and could be compelled " to do so by mandamus.
On receiving this opinion Pusey sent it at once to Keble.
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
Oct. 13, 1862.
It has struck me whether as things are [i.e. since it has been decided to try the suit], it might not be advisable to withdraw the opposition to the endowment of the Greek Professor (except as to getting a check on the Crown appointment), since it will be superfluous if we succeed before the judges, and void if we fail. And if it could be so, it would surely, I think, lessen the exasperation. Tell me, please, what you think of this.
'I spoke to -- and -- about your suggestion of withdrawing the opposition. The line which they were disposed to try was to adjourn the discussion until these proceedings should be terminated.'
But the dominant theme of Pusey' s letters to Keble at this time is the difficulty of securing such promoters for the prosecution as Dr. Phillimore had suggested. He 'thought that there had better be three, of no pronounced party, and residents' : and Pusey writes on Nov. 6, in much disappointment about the general reluctance to take up the task.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
It is the old story, 'who is to bell the cat?' Here, in Oxford, we seem to be so familiar with our evils as to acquiesce in them, sleeping in the snow, which is death.... And now Bp. Colenso is striving to make a position in the Church for his unbelief. And then the Church would be (God forbid) dead. I used to maintain and do maintain, that the Church must bear with much, for fear of worse evils. But she must not bear with this naked denial of our Lord the Atoner, and of God the Holy Ghost Who spake by the Prophets.... I never felt so desponding as I do now, not at people' s attacks (these we must expect) but at the acquiescence in them on the part of religious men.
Keble' s answer is prompt and characteristic.
REV. J. KEBLE TO E. B. P.
Nov. 8, 1862.
Your last note troubles me greatly: but I suppose what you mean by saying that if this Dr. Colenso is borne with, there will be 'no Church' means that eventually it will lead to such and such consequences, not that it will formally unchurch us at once. I still hold to my old mumpsimus that the Prayer Book being what it is we cannot be unchurched by mere abuse or default of discipline. I see the great topos to frighten us from proceeding is to be the effect of persecution upon ingenuous youth, and tile great instance appealed to is the success of the Tractarians in consequence of their being persecuted. Perhaps this had better be dealt with somehow. I think the persecution was but too successful against us.
In answering this letter, with a hearty assent to its interpretation of his meaning, Pusey informs Keble that Dr. Ogilvie, the Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology, 'has consented to be one to present the articles.'
In order to support Pusey, Keble wrote a letter to the Guardian of Nov. 12, which is perhaps his fullest public statement of the sympathy with which he viewed this prosecution.
REV. J. KEBLE TO THE EDITOR OF THE 'GUARDIAN.'
The correspondent who in your last number so earnestly depre–cates any such proceeding will, I trust, forgive my 'pointing out one or two flaws (as I conceive them to be) in his reasoning, such as ardent writers are very apt to overlook. First, his view seems to me altogether narrow and onesided. He confines his anxiety to one set of persons--young men who happen now to be, or lately have been resident students in Oxford; and he implies that if the measure prove unpopular or exasperating to them, that will be such and so great an evil as no benefit in any other quarter can possibly compensate for. But those who are proposing to put the Statute in motion, have tried, no, doubt, to enter into the mind of its framers--into the old academical feeling on such matters; and may be pardoned surely for the step they are taking, whatever present discomfort it may cause, if on the whole it seemed calculated to protect the University and the Church, and the souls committed to the charge of them both, from 'desolating opinions' such as these are allowed to be ;--to protect them, I say, in the next and following generations, and all over Christendom; even though, as your correspondent seems to intimate, the present set of students must be given up to them as incurable, a thing that can hardly be taken for granted.
Next, he writes as if the intended movement were one in which the whole governing body of the University is called on to take part, instead of being as I suppose it formally is, a private suit, :which any member of Convocation has a statutable liberty to promote. This cannot but make a good deal of difference in the quantity of 'heart-burnings, discord, and interruption of the work of the place' , which must needs be anticipated.. If, indeed, as is reported, the friends of Mr. Jowett, and tolerators of his 'desolating opinions,' are on the point of renewing the controversy of last year, there will be little or no additional disturbance caused by an attempt to bring the affair to a constitutional and legal issue. Generally, I think, that has been the course recommended by such as were most anxious to keep the peace when parties ran high and could not be quieted. 'The law is open and there are deputies: let them implead one another.'
Thirdly, I cannot read in the recent history of Oxford troubles the warning which it is said to convey, that interference by authority tells only in promoting the cause which it is intended to quash. The present condition of the University, by the 'Member of Congrega–tion' s' own statement, is a direct instance of the contrary. Why are these over-liberal opinions (as he and I agree in considering them) so rife in that once faithful body? One reason unquestionably is that there in an especial manner the hand of authority has been busy in discouraging, and as far as might be silencing and banishing, those who had been first. to sound the alarm, and to take arms for securing the 'Holy Place' (for so it then seemed to many) from such desolation as is now apprehended. I do not say that there was no offence given or any wrong wilfully done. I simply state the notorious fact. To make good your correspondent' s reasoning, the opinions for which Dr. Newman was censured ought now to be prevailing in Oxford. The 'Member of Congregation' fairly sets forth, as I imagine, the ordinary conversational topics on his side of the question. But he will pardon me for thinking that it will need some stronger argument to withhold serious men from an effort which in their mind is even necessary in order to settle no less a question than this
Whether the University of Oxford now is, and means to be here–after, a believer in the Bible or no?
During the Christmas vacation of 1862--3, Dr. Heurtley, the Margaret Professor of Divinity, undertook to be a second promoter, overcoming, for conscientious motives, what was clearly an extreme reluctance and distress: Pusey himself undertook to be the third promoter: and on Jan. I, 1863, he writes to Dr. Heurtley:--
'As you say, nothing but absolute sense of duty could make me move in this sad case. Like all decisive movements, it may occasion some to take more eagerly the wrong side. So people say now, that Anus or Eutyches or Nestorius ought not to have been condemned. I believe that such things only elicit the evil which lurks within already, and which is just as fatal when lurking within as when it comes out. There has been no time in the Church when its teachers would have been allowed to deny such truth as Professor Jowett has denied; and every publication is in advance of the other. The second edition of his Commentary (although some offensive language was dropped) denied truth more dogmatically than the fist; and the Essay denied more truth yet. We have waited long, and have been disappointed. But after all, prosecution is not persecution. I have courted prosecution when people have denounced me on hustings, &c. There is real persecution in that against which one cannot defend one' s self. To have it adjudged by law whether one is teaching according to the doctrine which one has professed, is no hardship. I should have hailed it gladly.
They are terrible times. Mere infidelity there always has been and always will be. But this claim of Bishop Colenso, Professor Jowett, and others that this teaching is to be part' of the recognised teaching of the Church of England, is a claim that the sheep should be destroyed by the shepherd.'
Some doubts which had been suggested in regard to the security of the grounds for the third charge having been settled by the decided opinion of the Queen' s Advocate and of Dr. Swabey, the formal proceedings in the Chan–cellor' s Court began on Friday, February 13, 1863, before the Assessor, Mr. Mountague Bernard. On that day Mr. Pottinger, who appeared for the respondent (Mr. Digby Latimer appearing for the appellants), applied that the, case might be adjourned for a week; and, this having been granted, he announced his intention of entering a protest against the jurisdiction of the Court, and of taking every possible objection to the citation as to matter and form.
On the following day, February 14, there appeared in the Times a leading article which gave rise to a prolonged war of letters. The article began by maintaining the 'almost ludicrous vagueness and irrelevancy' of those passages in the University Statutes upon which the Queen' s Advocate had held that the impeachment could be founded: it went on to discuss the incompetency of the Court to decide on questions of such moment, and the possible use of 'this rusty engine of intolerance' : it dwelt on the theological differences of the three Promoters, and the curious coincidence by which this suit was beginning on the same day on which Dr. Hampden in 1836, and the Tractarians in 1845, had been attacked. In its concluding paragraph occurred the following sentences:--
'We do not for one moment impugn the motives of those who have taken upon themselves to denounce him (Professor Jowett). On the contrary, we believe their motives to be the highest that can actuate short-sighted men with a rooted distrust of the power of truth to abide the ordeal of free inquiry. It is not of motives, but of consequences, that we would speak... The old attempt to set up the interests of religion and piety against those of truth and justice will fail, as it has ever failed… The question, then, arises whether the College to which he (Mr. Jowett) belongs and the cause of education in Oxford are to be sacrificed to the odium theologicum of a few infatuated dignitaries. We may pity Dr. Pusey and his co-prosecutors, for they know not what they do; but we trust, for the sake of interests far higher than they seem to discern, that the deadly blow which they are now aiming at the peace of the Church of England will not be suffered to take effect.'
This was hard language and really begged the whole question at issue. Pusey thought therefore that it ought not to be left unanswered. Accordingly he addressed to the Editor of the Times the following letter, which appeared on the 19th of February. It may be here cited almost in its entirety: for it gives a careful presentation of the grounds upon which he was acting.
E. B. P. TO THE EDITOR OF THE 'TIMES.'
I never have (he wrote) distrusted, nor do I distrust, the power of God' s truth to abide any, the most searching, inquiry. I have now for forty years, as a duty, read more anti-Christian writings than any probably of your readers, and I have observed during that period that all deeper thought and criticism uniformly tended to the support of the Faith or to bring men back to it. But it is one question whether truth will stand (which, being Divine, it will, of course); it is quite another whether all individuals are judges of truth, and whether they are so sure of being led into truth that it should be matter of indif–ference whether they are taught truth or error. If this were certain, it would, of course, be needless to have any teachers at all. It is true, beyond all question, that God' s truth will stand; but it is true also that individuals, to their own great loss, are led away by their teachers from it. You have yourself, at different times, clearly stated the principle that so long as the Church of England remains what she is her ministers are bound to teach what they have professed they will teach. I cannot imagine anything more demoralizing than that clergymen should profess their belief in great fundamental truths, and assert the contrary; that they should affirm to God, as the mouthpiece of a congregation in prayer, what they should contradict in their sermons or their writings. No sect in England would tolerate this. It is a matter beyond the question even of theological truth.. . . It would be the destruction of all trust between man and man, it would make our worship of God a mere piece of acting, if we were to teach one thing in church, another out of it, or contradict in the pulpit what we had said in the public prayers.
Yet there has been of late a most large and systematic claim put forth that we clergy not only should inquire, but that, although our inquiries should, unhappily, in the case of any of us end in the loss of our faith, we should still continue to act as clergy. A claim has been made to affix new meanings to words, and so to subscribe our formularies in senses which they will not bear.
It is impossible, then, to look upon Professor Jowett' s teaching otherwise than as a part of a larger whole--a systematic attempt to revolutionize the Church of England. The publication of the 'Essays and Reviews' was a challenge to admit that teaching, as one of the recognized phases of faith, in the English church. All which was said of the 'courage' of the Essayists implied this. To leave the challenge unnoticed would have been to acquiesce in the claim. The subjects on which we are told, on high legal authority, that there is evidence that Professor Jowett has distinctly contravened the teaching of the Church of England are great and central truths. They are--the doctrine of the Atonement, the Inspiration of Holy Scripture, the agreement of the Creeds with Holy Scripture. Painful, then, as it is, to have to act against one with whom, in this place, we must needs be brought into contact--painful as are many other consequences of an appeal to law--yet I hold myself bound by my duty to God, to the Church, and to the souls of men, to ascertain distinctly Whether such contradiction of fundamental truths is to be part of the recognized system of the University. Now, if the question was to be tried at all, it could be tried only in the Chancellor' s Court, since resident members of the University, who are not by virtue of any office subject to any other jurisdiction, are prohibited by its statutes from suing, or following any suit, in any other court except in the Court of Appeal. Prosecution is not persecution. It would be an evil day for England when it should be recognized that to appeal to the majesty of justice is to contravene truth and justice. I have left unsaid in this letter much which I might otherwise have said, because, as the subject is now before the Court, I hold it to be a duty to abstain from saying anything except as to the abstract principle.
The correspondence which followed this letter straggled on for five weeks, finding its way into various fields, more or less remote, more or less interesting; and it would be a wholesome study for any one who is inclined to enter too readily into newspaper controversy.
On Friday, February 20, 1863, the case was resumed in the Chancellor' s Court of the University of Oxford. The Proctor for Mr. Jowett entered his protest, both on historical and practical grounds, against the jurisdiction of that Court in a 'spiritual' charge of such a character. He further contended that a Professor appointed by the Crown was not amenable to the University, citing the case of Pusey' s suspension in 1843 by the Vice-Chancellor alone, as a proof that a Regius Professor could not be tried before a court. The Court was adjourned for another week for the decision of the Assessor on these points. On February 27 Mr. Mountague Bernard gave his judgment that Regius Professors .were liable to the jurisdiction of the University, and that the Court in which the proceedings had been taken was the only court that could be open to the Promoters of this suit. But since there was no precedent for such a prosecution, he was not certain whether the Court had jurisdiction in cases of this character. In this uncer–tainty he refused to admit the protest against his jurisdiction, but at the same time refused to admit the articles on the part of the Promoters. The Promoters could, however, appeal against his decision, if they desired to do so, to the Court of Queen' s Bench, which might issue a mandamus to enforce the hearing.
Before making any such appeal the promoters thought it good to ask the Opinion of the Queen' s Advocate (Sir Robert. Phillimore) and Mr. J. D. Coleridge (afterwards Lord Chief Justice) on the Assessor' s decision and the probable fortunes of an appeal to the Court of Queen' s Bench. The Opinion was equally adverse on both subjects. They considered that the decision was incorrect, inconsistent, and without precedent; at the same time, although the Court of Queen' s Bench had power to compel the hearing of the charge, it would probably be very reluctant to interfere in a matter which was one of Academical discipline. In the light of such an opinion the Promoters intimated to the Vice-Chancellor on May 8 that they did not intend to carry the suit any further.
Pusey had done all that he could to obtain a legal decision on the responsibility of the University for the teaching of Professor Jowett, and had failed; he had now to decide on his own future attitude towards the increased endowment of the Greek Chair.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
St. Mark' s Day, 1863.
The next question is as to the endowment--Ogilvie wishes me to persevere in opposing it. I am inclined to desist, on the ground that the Assessor has ruled that offences against faith are not to be punished. We might have disputed that decision, and do not. People have so hopelessly confused the question of endowment as if it were a mere matter of paying a person for his labours (which labours almost all the tutors do avail themselves of) that, having failed of the greater, I am inclined to give up the less. I should be regarded as a mere persecutor, debarring another of his pay, while I have a large profes–sional income myself. But what think you? I hardly think it tact to resist. We have been defeated, although illegally. Having so failed, it seems to me like a petty vexatious matter to withhold an income from him. The greater seems to me to involve the lesser. I am inclined to vote against it in Council out of deference to those members of Congregation who returned me; and then in Congre–gation to state why I remain neutral, acquiescing in the decision that although the Statutes have a moral, they are, during the Assessorship of Bernard, to have no punitive force, and that we are in the state of Israel under Judges, when every one did that which was right in his own eyes. But I should like to know what you think.
Keble, who had contributed £100 towards the expense of this fruitless endeavour to obtain a legal decision from the University, wished still to make some kind of definite protest against Mr. Jowett' s teaching while giving up all opposition to the endowment of the Professorship. 'I do think it hard,' he wrote, 'for Oxford to be injured and the world scandalized, by its going about, as of course it will, that our general feeling is " Let such teaching have its Way.”' On the other hand, other friends were still unconvinced and persisted in trying to force Pusey into renewed opposition to the endowment, although he said that it had now become 'hopelessly a bad battle–ground.'
Before the end of 1863, Pusey had introduced into the Hebdomadal Council another measure for the endowment of the Greek Chair. This scheme, after referring to the duties of the Chair, contained in deference to Keble' s suggestion the following clause, dealing with its present occupant 'modo ne Academia de scriptis ejus (quoad fidem Catholicam tractaverint) judicium tulisse censeatur.' On February 4, 1864 this statute was passed in the Congrega–tion of the University. It was supported by Stanley, who had now become Dean of Westminster, as well as Pusey and Liddon, while Professor Heurtley, one of the Promoters of the recent suit, spoke against it. Pusey' s speech explains the point of view from which he was now again supporting the increase of the endowment. After referring to the separation between himself and his friends on this question, he said:--
'I am not going to throw the slightest doubts on the wisdom or legality or justice of the decision which summarily dismissed the indictment which we were in this House often challenged to prefer, and which at last we found it our bounden, though most painful, duty to prefer. We acted according to our conscience, and the Judge acted according to what he thought best for the University. I have now to speak only of the results of his judgment. These are, that it is ruled that every professor or tutor is left wholly to his own conscience what he shall teach on any matter of faith; provided that, if a tutor, the Head of his College do not interfere with him; or, if a professor, he do not teach things contrary to the Catholic Faith in his lectures. We, the professors, are thrown back the more upon our subscriptions, because there is no judicial authority except as to our public lectures. Any professor may print defences of Atheism, Deism, Socinianism, or of any other of what used to be called " blasphema dogmata," if he thinks it in harmony with his subscription. Any tutor may do the same, if he is not withheld by the recollection that the Statutes require him to be 'religione secundum doctrinam et ritum Ecclesiae Angli–canae sincerus.' it seems to me then that the act of endowing the Greek Chair cannot be construed into any indifference as to the religious teaching of our professors, since it has been judicially pro–nounced that they are free to teach whatsoever they will, only not ex cathedra. And if so, all those grounds, so often urged in this house, have their full force. So long as the grant seemed to imply indifference on the part of the University to what was believed to be denials of the a great principle was at stake which had to be maintained at any cost. Now that this issue is removed, I believe from my inmost heart we shall best consult the interests of the faith by removing an occasion of heart-burnings, which indispose some minds to the faith. Not that I hope for any great results. For we are at the beginning of a deepening and widening struggle for life, or death, for the life or death of the University as a place of religious learning, for the life or death of the Church of England as an instrument of God for the salvation of souls. And this struggle must give occasion for fresh heart-burnings and misunderstandings. But what we can do for peace and love, that we are bound to do, leaving the result with Him with Whom are the issues of life and death.'
The Statute was submitted to a crowded meeting of Convocation on March 8, 1864, exactly a month after the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on the two suits connected with 'Essays and Reviews' . Churchmen throughout the country had been summoned by Archdeacon Denison and others to oppose Pusey' s measure, and it was rejected by 467 votes to 395. The Senior Proctor had greatly excited the hopes of the Promoters of the statute by using in a moment of confusion the customary formula for announcing the success of a measure, 'Majori parti placet.' A perfect tumult of applause preceded the correction of the mistake, and a yet louder tumult from the other side followed it. It was generally known that the Privy Council Judgment in favour of the 'Essays and Reviews' greatly influenced this adverse vote.
Some of Professor Jowett' s friends seemed now to despair of any increase of endowment from the funds of the University: and they had sufficient influence in high places to induce the Government to consent to a plan which would provide the additional money for this Crown Professorship of the funds of the Church. On April 11, 1864, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Westbury, introduced into the House of Lords a bill for endowing the Greek Professorship with one the many Canonries which was in the gift of the Crown. This strange proposal had first been submitted to, the Hebdomadal Council at Oxford, and had received the approval of all that body, except four, among whom were Pusey and Heurtley. Pusey saw in the measure 'an ex–ceedingly clever move,' but under the circumstances one of the worst scandals that was possible. He wondered at the blindness of the Conservatives who could vote for it; to himself it was but the firstfruits of the action of those wise young men who (three years before) thought they saw further than the old veterans. For the moment the Lord Chancellor' s bill was defeated; it passed a second reading, but on May 13, on the order for going into Committee, the previous question was carried against the Government, by a large majority.
It was extremely unadvisable to leave the matter in this unsatisfactory state. Pusey deeply deplored the incurable short-sightedness of his own friends in the matter; although he most cordially agreed with their reasons for opposing the endowment, yet in his mind they were clearly outweighed by other considerations. He saw that in the rapidly altering state of the University those reasons did not con–stitute a valid argument for withholding the immediate endowment of the Chair; he felt that in spite of them the Professor was unfairly treated. Little as he liked the office, he felt it his duty to make another attempt to remedy the grievance, in order if possible to prevent the renewal of the Government measure and the continued charge of unfairness.
But at the same time any proposal of the kind was made far more difficult by the intense strain of ecclesiastical feeling at the moment. 'Essays and Reviews' had just been condemned by the Convocation of Canterbury, after two of the writers had been acquitted by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; and there was widespread alarm and distrust about the teaching with which Professor Jowett' s name was associated. Accordingly Pusey found himself separated from all those who had hitherto been with him in his continued support of the claim of the Greek Chair. It was of course no great matter of surprise that Archdeacon Denison vehemently attacked him both in private correspondence and in public speech; he declared that 'of all things that have occurred in our time to shake our faith and confidence in man, and to show how remarkably this time is a time of expedients rather than of principles, of contrivances and management rather than of faith and patience, nothing has occurred to compare with this act of Edward Bouverie Pusey.' But now Bishop Wilberforce also wrote on October 24 one of his most urgent letters, praying Pusey to desist from his attempts, and assuring him that by the present circumstances of the Church his effort was fraught with 'extreme evil' and was aiming 'a very deadly blow' at the truth of God.' Pusey however persevered, defending his intended action on every ground. And even Keble began to waver in his support: he was afraid lest, if Pusey was successful, the University should appear to be in yet greater antagonism to the Church, by having endowed the writer of one of the Essays which the Convocation of Canterbury had so recently condemned. Yet Pusey still persisted in his effort. On October 31, he warmly supported in Council a renewed proposal to raise the stipend to £400, with the guarding clause 'modo nec Academia scripta eius, quae ad fidem Catholicam pertinent, comprobasse teneatur, neque rectae fidei Pro–fessorum horum incuriosa esse censeatur.' This was again defeated, and Pusey was filled with astonishment at the inconsistency of his Conservative colleagues, who would accept without safeguard a measure of the Government disposed of Church property for the use of the Professors–hip, while they rejected a carefully guarded plan which disposed of University funds for a University purpose.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. KEBLE.
October 31, 1864.
Lord D[erby] consulted the Council as to the endowment with a Canonry, only four members were found to dissent, of whom Heurtley and I were two. The Conservatives, who have thrown out this measure, to a man supported it. I read to the Council a statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury: 'I trust that the Jowett affair will be settled before Parliament meets again. It is most important 'that it should be so. Indeed, I feel so strongly about it, that if it comes on again, the Archbishop of York and I shall come down to vote for the measure' , but it had no effect. On their part it is 'straining at a gnat after swallowing a camel.' No good can come of it. It makes me more and more sick of the Conservative party. They seem to me to sacrifice everything to their wretched Con–servatism. We shall see what comes of the motion for a Committee which is to come on next Monday, but I have ringing in my ears, 'Quos Deus vult perdere, dementat prius.'
The motion, for a Committee of the Hebdomadal Council to inquire into, and report upon the endowment of the Professorship was more fortunate, and Pusey was appointed on the Committee. On November 10, he wrote to Mr. Gladstone to say that the Committee had agreed to recommend to the Council the resumption of the pro–posals which Pusey had so warmly supported in 1861, and which had been rejected chiefly by the votes of his own friends.
But in the event he was to have a more direct relation to the endowment than he expected. Before the Committee was appointed, Mr. (afterwards Professor) Freeman had maintained in a letter to the Daily News that the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church held certain lands under conditions which made it obligatory upon them to augment the emoluments of the Greek Chair. This was no new assertion. It had been made repeatedly, but sufficient evidence for it had never been produced. Soon after Mr. Freeman had revived it, some fresh evidence in its favour was discovered. The Dean and Chapter, however, were still convinced that no legal claim could be made against them, and submitted the matter for the opinion of Counsel Sir Roundell Palmer and Sir H. M. Cairns decided in their favour, and maintained that no legal obligation lay upon Christ Church to increase the stipend beyond the sum that had been paid for so many years. But rather than test under the slightest suspicion of unfairness, the Dean and Chapter decided that 'on grounds of general expediency' and under the great difficulties of the case, they would raise it to £500 a year.
E. B. P. TO THE RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P.
Christ Church, Feb. 21, 1865.
The Dean' s letter to the V. C. announcing that we have agreed to raise the Greek Professor' s stipend to £50 per ann. will be printed to-morrow, together with the Opinion of the Attorney-General and Sir H. Cairns, that we are under no obligation to do so. " If half of us, however, thought that as we have estates which Westminster gave up in order to be free from the duty, we were under a moral obligation to provide adequately for him. Had I known at we had these estates, I should never have troubled you and Lord P[almerston] and Sir G. Grey with those negotiations. I inquired very many years ago in Gaisford' s time about it, but could learn nothing. And the list of estates, tithes, &c., given in Rymer as belonging to Westminster before they gave up those of which we now have some, did not contain any of ours. King James I and Charles I, when they annexed stalls to the Divinity and Hebrew Chairs, ignored any duty of Christ Church to augment, unless indeed Laud may have wished to make the Hebrew Chair manifestly theological.
We do not say that we augment the Professorship of Greek out of our incomes (for there was no other way), but they can very well bear it.
It was then in unavoidable ignorance that I made the application to you. It is said that they did not know at the State Paper Office anything of the document which completed the evidence. I am so thankful that the question is now at rest.
Thus after nearly six years of very painful controversy, this complicated and unfortunate question was settled. At this distance of time and under the altered conditions of University life, it is very hard to understand and appreciate motives which actuated the refusal of a scheme which at first sight may appear as a mere act of justice. The danger for us now in reading the story is lest we should regard the Oxford of 1860 as having already laid aside its old religious character; it must not be forgotten that it was still largely a body bound by the 'Articles of Religion, and that it still contained many who twenty years earlier had suffered greatly at the hands of the Liberals for alleged faithlessness to them. The detailed account of his painful controversy is at least a matter of justice to Pusey' s memory. There is no incident in his life which more frequently remembered against him, and hardly one which suffers more from incomplete remembrance.