Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
VARIOUS LETTERS ON CHURCH TROUBLES--PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH IN FRANCE--RITUALISM' S 'UNLAW' --DEATH OF DEAN STANLEY -- IMPRISONMENT OF THE REV. S. F. GREEN--REVISED VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT--DECEASED WIFE' S SISTER BILL-- CARDINAL NEWMAN' S PORTRAIT--MOZLEY' S REMINIS–CENCES--LETTERS TO CHILDREN--LETTER WRITTEN ON HIS LAST BIRTHDAY.
IN his eightieth year Pusey was no longer able to take that prominent part in public events which has caused the record of his life to be, to a great extent, an account of the more salient facts of the recent history of the English Church. But from the thick walls of Christ Church in the winter, and from the pine woods of Ascot in the summer, he still watched what was going on, and, so far as his health permitted, gave advice and encouragement to those dear friends who in their turn were now fighting the good fight. This result of advancing years has necessitated a corresponding change in the form of the last few chapters: a full account of the events to which they refer would have taken the reader too far away from Pusey himself. Still more in the two years that remain, his letters must be given with only enough introduction to make them intelligible.
The Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874 had been designed to exterminate the Ritualists: but Mordecai is not always hanged on the gallows which Haman erects for him. The ruthless application of this measure tended insensibly, as Pusey had always predicted, towards the toleration of that Ritual which it was intended to destroy. The 'Church Association' had mercilessly used its summary methods to enforce an inaccurate interpretation of the Rubrics, and consequently at the end of 1879 Mr. Mac–konochie was under a sentence of suspension, and three other clergymen were on the way to prison for refusing to disobey the grammatical meaning of the Prayer-book. Public opinion began to regard this state of things as intolerable, and the High Church party was consolidated by such persecution, more thoroughly than they had ever been since the early days of the Ritual movement. In Advent, 1879, Pusey, while the persecution was at its height, was urged to issue an address to the English Church Union; he took the opportunity of giving them the counsels most needful for the persecuted and irritated; --warning them to distinguish between a mere partisan zeal for a good cause and a sincere love of God Himself, and bidding them not to be censorious towards their opponents, or forgetful of the need of self-abasement. If they would contend for Sacramental truth and the freedom of Con–fession, he told them that one of the best weapons they could select would be careful preparation for, and thanks–giving after, the Holy Communion combined with a growth in real penitence. The old Tractarian times were ever vividly present to his mind, and the robust reality of those early healthful days of stern self-discipline.
The troubles of the political world made less direct appeal to him; but he noted them with sorrow and distress. Of some he writes:--
E. B. P. TO THE HON. C. L. WOOD.
April 3, 1880.
.. What a turmoil poor England is in, and how fierce the words! I fear that there must have been a good deal of wood, hay, stubble built up.... With the politics themselves, I, of course, have nothing to do. But people seem [either] to forget that our Lord ever said anything about idle words, or to think that the Apostle said, 'Speak evil one of another, brethren.' They would keep it most diligently, if he had. I often think that if the 'not' had been left out, it would have been one of the best kept of all God' s commands. A very superior and self-observant spiritual daughter of mine said to me, some thirty-five years ago, 'I have changed the question which I put to myself. I used to ask myself, " May I say this, to the disadvantage of another?"and I always found a reason for it. Now I ask myself, " Must I say this?"and I never find a reason for it.' I only tell this as a striking rule, for it is of course a duty to keep God' s commandments unless some higher duty of love makes an exception. You yourself are always oil on the waters.
Again, on being asked by the same correspondent to join in an expression of sympathy with the Church in France in her sufferings at the hand of the State, he replies:--
E. B. P. TO THE HON C. L. WOOD.
July 2, 1880.
The majority of the Vatican Council crushed me. I have not touched any book of Roman controversy since. Pope Pius IX devised and carried two new articles of faith; and the absolute personal infallibility of the Pope, to which they sacrificed Dollinger, stands in my way, contradicting history. All other questions sink into nothing before this. Our Creeds must be reformed: 'I believe in the Pope,' instead of 'I believe the Holy Catholic Church.' I have no heart left. I could not, the other day, read some Encyclical of the present Pope because I did not know whether I was to read it as a third or a thirtieth general Epistle of St. Peter.
My only hope is that Antichrist will somehow drive the Church into one…
I never read a paper. Of course the persecution of the Jesuits in France is Antichrist. It used to be said that 'St. Ignatius prayed that his Order might always be persecuted.' He thought persecution so good for it. I have verified the statement.
But the present Ultramontane Archbishop of Paris could only make an Address to him an occasion of telling us that he hoped that we should soon return to the fold. You are young and sanguine.
Thirty years earlier, at a great public meeting in St. Martin' s Hall, when some of his friends wished him to commit himself to some ambiguous statements in opposi–tion to the Roman Church, Pusey had said that in prefer–ence to any merely verbal anti-Roman declaration he would give one satisfactory proof of his conviction that he was already in the true Fold--a proof that would admit of no contradiction--by dying in the bosom of the Church of England: the time for that evidence was now very near.
As the struggle about Ritual went on, Pusey threw in his lot more and more definitely with those who were being persecuted. In a letter to the Times in January, 1881, he expressed himself in terms of much clearer accord with them than he would have done ten years earlier. He was writing to identify himself with the Memorial which Dean Church had presented to the Archbishop of Canter–bury, claiming toleration in Ritual. It was arranged that Pusey should not sign it; his separate support it was thought would have greater weight.
E. B. P. TO THE EDITOR OF THE 'TIMES.'
Jan. 14, 1881.
Whatever mistakes any of the Ritualists made formerly, no Ritualist would now, I believe, wish to make any change without the hearty goodwill of the people. But all along those who have closely observed the Ritual movement have seen that it has been especially the work of the laity. While the clergyman has been hesitating, his parishioners have often presented him with the Vestments which they wished him to wear. Mr. Enraght and Mr. Mackonochie have not been struggling for themselves but for their people. St. Alban' s was built by a pious High Church layman, in what was one of the worst localities in London. It is now full of a religious population, who join intelligently in the service provided for them and love it. Agents of the Church Association tried in vain for years to find a third parishioner in the Mission at the London docks, to disturb the ritual of the priest who had won them to God, and whom, with the ritual which he had taught them, they loved--Mr. Lowder.
What the Dean of St. Paul' s asks for, is simply that toleration which is accorded to every one else. The toleration granted to the Broad Church is so large that it has publicly been said to be an anachronism when a clergyman parted from the Church of England because he disbelieved the Incarnation and Resurrection of our Lord. The Low Church pain many communicants by the administration of the Holy Communion to 'railfuls' ; but this requires the alteration of the words with which it is given, not of a rubric only. The Ritualists do not ask to interfere with the devotions of others only to be allowed, in their worship of God, to use a Ritual which a few years ago no one disputed, and that only when their congregations wish it. Of the Judgment which forbade it, the Lord Chief Baron Kelly said that it was 'a Judg–ment of policy, not of law.'
The Memorial to which the letter refers was a formal reply of a large number of influential clergy to the question of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 'What do you want?' The Memorial said that peace could only be obtained by the toleration of divergences in Ritual. In a Letter to Liddon, which he published early in 1881, under the title of 'Unlaw in judgments of the Judicial Committee and its remedies,' Pusey sketched the remedy that he would suggest. The Letter is a valuable résumé of the history of the High Church party in their struggles in the courts of law. In a review of all the cases since 1850, he shows that his friends had been in a state of continuous protest against the Final Court of Appeal, and that there could be no peace until that Court was reformed, the moderate ritual of our Prayer-book tolerated, and the indefensible decisions in the Purchas and Ridsdale cases superseded. This pamphlet is not only his last, but also one of his most effective utterances on the subject: he himself was well aware that his opponents would find difficulty in dealing with its statements; he described it as 'something like a hedgehog.'
Pusey sent a copy of this Letter on 'Unlaw' to Mr. Gladstone among other friends. In reply, Mr. Glad–stone informed him confidentially that it had been arranged that the Archbishop should apply for a Royal Commission to inquire into the whole of the troubled question about Ecclesiastical Courts. He added that in the correspondence on this proposal, he had noticed a most conciliatory spirit on the part of the Archbishop, and that his whole tone, judging from a recent Charge and private conversation and conference, seemed entirely changed. Mr. Gladstone further assured Pusey that he was convinced that the Archbishop was now honestly bent on a work of peace in the Church; 'When I think of the days of the Public Worship Regu–lation Act,' he added, 'I can hardly believe him to be the same man.' Pusey sent on the note to Liddon; it seemed an answer to all his prayers for peace for so many years, but he was unable in this case, as in many others, to understand why the Archbishop had been so slow to see the strength of the position of those whom he had so doggedly opposed.
Soon after this, on July 18, 1881, Dr. Stanley, the Dean of Westminster, passed away. Throughout all his active life he had been the most ardent and consistent champion of the Broad Church party. His conception of the nature of the Church of Christ and its doctrine, and of the true policy for the Church in England, was in direct contra–diction to all that Pusey held to be most vital. Every one must have felt the charm of his high character and personal attractiveness, even when they most disagreed with him. But the differences which separated him from the High Church party were wide and fundamental; they were, in fact, bound up with the very first principles of Religion. It is necessary to keep this in mind when seeking to estimate the attitude which Pusey adopted towards him, as for instance in the controversy described in the earlier part of this volume. His words may often seem stern, and even wanting in Christian charity. But the questions at stake could never be to him mere academical points to be discussed, they were vital truths to be maintained; truths moreover, which each in his several way was bound to defend at all costs, and for which they must severally give account before the bar of a Just Judge, Who knows no respect of persons. It may well be, that as he now reflected on the life of his brother Canon, whose career had been suddenly arrested, and recalled their common life, as members of the same Chapter, and the frequent controversies which had separated them on matters of the deepest importance, he would cast about for some hidden causes, which all unconsciously might have turned that brilliant intellect into those channels which seemed to him so divergent from the Faith, and set himself to think whether in any way he himself was to blame, in want of sympathy or faithful proclamation of the Truth. For Death is a stern end to controversy. They are thoughts such as these, which crowd into a letter which he wrote the day after the Dean' s death:--
E. B. P. TO REV. H. P. LIDDON, D.D.
July 19, 1881.
The leaves have been dropping so fast that nothing startles me. They fall according to God' s law, whatever it is; only one is sure that it is one which one does not understand. One only thinks of the Judgment seat of Christ and accompanies each there.
How overwhelming that sight must be! One can only say, 'Lord, remember me in Thy kingdom,' with the dying thief, though without his excuses. 'Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.'
I trust he was taken away from the evil to come. He was, alas! a Hebrew pupil of mine own, and I did nothing for him.
When the efforts to obtain the release of the Rev. S. F. Green, Vicar of Miles-Platting, one of the imprisoned Ritualists, had for the time failed, he wrote to Mr. Wood:--
E. B. P. TO THE HON. C. L. WOOD.
Aug. 6, 1881.
Lord Penzance' s jurisdiction is made then as stringent as human law can make it. Our efforts to obtain Mr. Green' s freedom and restore him to the people whom he loves and who love him, and some of whom must owe their souls to him, have failed: and he lies a State prisoner in a felon' s gaol. It might have been my own case, if the persecuting party had been consistent. For the same Judgment which forbade wearing and using what the letter of the Prayer-book directs, forbade also our celebrating the Holy Eucharist as our Blessed Lord celebrated it, in wine mingled with water. I did it, and called the attention of the persecuting party to my doing it. I had not the same strong ground, as Mr. Green, for there is no direction in our Prayer-book to mingle water with the wine, but only a custom since our Lord instituted it. No Church Court, no Consistory, no jury of twelve honest Englishmen could have said that a clergyman ought to be sent to prison, for doing what the letter of the Prayer-book bids him do. Had the persecutors obtained a sentence against me for celebrating Holy Communion as our Blessed Lord did, in wine mingled with water, I must have been writing this in the Castle at Oxford. I challenged them to do their worst.
I only mention my own case, because it looks so selfish to talk quietly about Mr. Green' s remaining in Lancaster Castle, while one' s self is in God' s free air, unless one had had to face the same result; and not I only, but he too, to whom throngs are listening in hushed silence in St. Paul' s.
Hampden and the Shipmoney will be a proverb as long as English history shall last. Ungrateful as the Government of William and Mary were to the Seven Bishops, who were imprisoned in the Tower of London, they did their work -- by suffering first, at the hands of James; and then, as Nonjurors, they remained long the salt of the English Church.
In the Gospel, suffering is the royal road to victory. For it is the road which our Master' s sacred feet trod, and consecrated it by their blood. 'Yourselves know,' St. Paul says, 'that we are appointed thereunto.' True, our prisons are pleasant places which cannot be named in the same breath with those loathsome places in which St. Paul approved himself 'by imprisonments.' But every trial has its own weight. We all love liberty and free air, and power to work for our Lord. And Mr. Green must 'lie, deprived of the power of working directly for souls and for his Lord, unless he will own, in fact, that he did amiss in following a distinct direction of the Prayer-book, and giving to his people a service which they loved.
We can do nothing. The prison is shut with all safety and men' s wills are more iron than the locks. But 'the Lord Who dwelleth on high is mightier.' He 'looseth men out of prison.' Only let us ask Him earnestly, and He will either open the prison doors, or make this prolonged imprisonment be, in what way He willeth and knoweth, to His Glory.
The issue of the Revised Version of the New Testament in 1881 was very far from a pleasure to him. It seemed to warrant all the fears that he had expressed when the Committee was originally appointed. He used to say that he could not read it devotionally because of the number of changes and uncertainties that were to be found in its pages: they were a continual source of distraction. He wrote the following letter about it in view of the approaching discussion at the Newcastle Church Congress.
E. B. P. TO DEAN LAKE OF DURHAM.
Ascot Priory, Oct. 1, 1881.
I see that the Revised Version of the New Testament is to be a subject at the Congress. Its merits will, of course, be impressed upon the Congress. I know not whether any one will draw attention to any drawbacks in it. To me the Revisers seem to have paid more attention to the Greek than to the English, and to have been over-particular in retaining the same English word for the same Greek word. Yet how many English words does e. g. Liddell and Scott' s Lexicon give for the same Greek word, which implies, of course, that the same English word will not always suffice.
But a formidable evil has passed unnoticed, except by Dean Stanley. This relates not to the revision of the Version as such but to the changes in the text of Holy Scripture, which is the basis of the translation.
The evil is, the uncertainty which it throws on most passages, bearing upon the Divinity of our Lord. On most passages which declare it, there is an 'or,' substituting some other reading which does not contain it. The Theos in 1 Tim. iii. i6 is peremptorily dismissed, although St. Ignatius is an older authority than the Codex Sinaiticus. Two texts only remain, upon which a doubt is not thrown, St. John i. 14 and Heb. i. 8. Of course one text is quite enough; but to those who hold that 'the Bible and the Bible only is the religion of Protestants,' it will, I fear, be a great shock.
The revisers, I believe, do not say in what sense they use the word 'or.' In our present translation it means, I believe, that they balanced the two renderings, but on the whole preferred that which they inserted in the text. If the 'or' in the Revised Version means, that those who settled the text which the revisers adopted, were really in doubt, or leave the two readings as optional, then, thus far, everything is left to each reader according to his bias, or he is left to think that everything is uncertain.
If the revisers of the Old Testament shall proceed on the same plan, there will be an 'or' upon every passage in the Old Testament which teaches the Divinity of Christ. For in these days, of course, every–thing is disputed, and so there 'will be an 'or' on Psalm xlv. 6. And then there will be the question as to one of the two remaining passages in the New Testament, and it will be asked, 'Did the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews argue from a mistranslation?'
I cannot imagine how any one who knew Greek, and the use of eulogetos and epikataritos in the LXX, could have imagined the constructions in Rom. ix. 5, mentioned in the margin, to have been right. Hitherto they have been counted Socinian glosses. To me they seem absolutely dishonest.
Of Greek, those acquainted with the language can judge for them–selves. Few can estimate so intricate a subject as the revision of the text. Another generation may no longer have the preference for a certain class of MSS. which are the favourites now. Alas for England! Everything seems let loose against the Faith now. Some will be driven back to the quod semper, quod ubique, &c., and will regard texts of Scripture in their office of proving the Faith already delivered. Some will seek refuge in the Church of Rome from all this chaos. More will go to scepticism.
For I have mentioned only the uncertainty thrown upon the proof of one great doctrine. The effect of this and more is brought out by Dean Stanley in the article inserted in the Times of July 20. 'Doctrine' and 'heresy' are to lose their meaning which they have had since the Apostles' time and to become mere 'teaching' and 'party spirit.' All the modern fancies which have congregated round the words 'hell,' 'everlasting,' and 'damnation' have, from different causes, been exploited in this Version. And so as to 'inspiration.'
My only hope is that this 'revision' will be revised: that there will be less antipathy to words expressive of doctrine, and that the show of alternative texts without any ground of judging between them will be withdrawn.
Just before he left Ascot in October, 1881, the Chaplain of the Priory, Mr. Skinner, was obliged by his rapidly failing health to give up his work. It was a great loss to Pusey, who rejoiced in his companionship; they lived next door to one another within the Priory grounds and met frequently. He wrote to him the following letter of farewell:--
E. B. P. TO REV. J. SKINNER.
South Hermitage, Ascot Priory, Oct. 13, 1881.
It is very, very sad, as all partings are. I had so hoped that this would have been your home, until God should call you to your ever–lasting home. I had such bright dreams of your future usefulness here when -- told me of your thinking of work in a Convalescent Hospital, and I said of your coming here, 'It is too good to be true.' It is very, very sad; and although my loss of hearing cuts me off from much intercourse with those whom I love, yet - it is pleasant to be under the same roof with one who loves one, and whom one loves. But God' s will is clearest there where it 'triumphs at our cost,' and His will has acted by conforming yours to it.
God knows whether I shall come here another year or whether I shall see another year. The two houses will be different, in that there will be not one whom I love, as for these many years I have loved you, next door; and the likelihood of your coming to Oxford must be very small. So it will be a loving out of sight.
Nine months later, Mr. Green was still in prison, and Pusey was asked to write an address to the English Church Union on the anniversary of his being shut up in gaol. He was already feeling sure that the battle for toleration in Ritual was now nearly won.
E. B. P. TO THE HON. C. L. WOOD.
Christ Church, March 8, 1882.
Mankind in the year 1892 will, I think, be much ashamed of us in 1882.
The panic which produced the P. W. R. Act is not yet over, and panics are always unreasoning and unreasonable. All evil is growing (as is good also, but silently--good makes no noise); crimes are more atrocious than they were some years ago; Atheism flaunts itself; all unbelief is more aggressive; and the exterminating party, as a remedy to all this -- does what? It keeps in prison one who (to use the words of the Bishop of Chichester in Convocation) 'is the anxious and diligent Pastor of a large congregation in a parish now numbering nearly 5,000 souls,' who 'is shown to live in the affections of his people.'
And for what? For wearing a garment which was worn in the English Church in the reign of Edward VI; for having a Vestment, as both East and West have, for the Eucharistic Service--a Vestment which was first enjoined by Cranmer, and the direction to wear which stands in our present Prayer-book....
The exterminating party have, I trust, now run too wild a race. Three priests whom it imprisoned were delivered. The fourth, whom we cannot extricate from its fangs, will, I hope, preach to the hearts of the English the tolerance which the intolerant will not exercise towards him. It was said by a Bishop in Convocation: 'There are hundreds of clergy who are disobeying rubrics (of the meaning of which there is not the shadow of a doubt), who are not only left unmolested, but are taking part in the action which led to the im–prisonment of Mr. Green.'
The English have a great reverence for law; but they love also honesty and fair play. They will not, in the end, I trust, endure 'law-breakers,' invoking the aid of the law, to imprison those who do in reality keep the law, and contravene only unlaw.
One of the earliest English laws extant, nearly twelve centuries ago (A.D. 697) ordains that the. Church shall enjoy her own judgments (Spelman' s 'Concilia,' I. 194). For maintaining this Mr. Green is imprisoned. Hard must it be for a zealous lover of souls to be cut off from the people whom he loves, and by Whom he is loved. Hard must it be for one who had fought the good fight to lie inactive while the evil one is busy in capturing souls for whom Christ died. But, as in the days of martyrdom the blood of Martyrs was the harvest seed of the Church, so every trial borne meekly for the Faith of Christ, and the cause of Christ, is a pledge of final victory; and on this anniversary of Mr. Green' s imprisonment we may respectfully con–gratulate him in the words of one put to death in the Marian persecution, that the fire so kindled will not easily be put out. Through his imprisonment the Church of England will, I trust, be freed.
In May, 1882, Pusey sent the following letter to Lord Dalhousie, who had charge of the Bill for legalizing mar–riage with a deceased wife' s sister, who had written to ask Pusey whether he considered such marriages were pro–hibited by the Levitical law.
E. B. P. TO LORD DALHOUSIE.
Christ Church, Oxford, May 16, 1882.
I fear that 'your Lordship will live to regret the change in the marriage-law which you are now proposing to your Lordship' s House.
Things are very much changed, since forty years ago a firm was employed to solicit signatures to petitions in favour of legalizing those marriages. The agitation was then, in favour of this particular marriage from some known individuals who wished to marry their deceased wives sisters. Now it has spread (as all such questions do spread consistently, to the whole subject of affinity. Now the question is raised whether any affinity is a hindrance to marriage. If marriage with the deceased wife' s sister is legalized, I do not see how any other marriage with one connected by affinity can be consistently maintained to be illegal. The principle is one, and as the question has been discussed, people have come to see that the whole subject of affinity is one, that the sisters, mothers, daughters (if there be any by a former marriage), are sisters, mothers, daughters to him, with whom the wife is become one flesh. I think that it would startle your Lordship' s House (in which the reality of the tie of affinity has recently come home through the consciousness of the reality of the connexion with one recently snatched from them) to be told that the relations of their wives were nothing to them.
The social effects of the permission in Protestant Germany were said to be frightful, and, before they were limited by the Code Napoleon, in France also. May I ask your Lordship to take the trouble to look at my evidence before the Commission, of which I take the liberty to enclose a copy, pp. 5--56; and of France, p. lxxxi?
I have ventured beyond the question proposed to me by your Lordship, on account of the terrible evil resulting from any relaxation of the sacredness of the law of marriage. We are already suffering so fearfully from the new Divorce Court, in which it is said to be notorious that every undefended suit is a case of collusion.
In regard to your Lordship' s question whether I believe marriage with the deceased wife' s sister to be prohibited by the Levitical law, I have no doubt that it is prohibited by Leviticus xviii. 6. The literal translation of the words is, 'None of you shall approach to any flesh of his flesh to uncover their nakedness, I am the Lord.' They were universally understood to include the near relations of her who by marriage had become one flesh with her husband. This continued on from the earliest times of which we have any notice, before the Council of Nice, to the dispensation of Alexander VI (Borgia) at the close of the fifteenth century. For 1,500 years the unlawfulness of this marriage was unquestioned, until it was violated by the dispensations of a Pope, stained by almost every vice. . .
The law of the Church was rested on Lev. xviii. 6. The omission of the daughter among the cases specifically prohibited shows that the specific prohibitions were not meant to be exhaustive.
In regard to details, your Lordship, if you thought it worth while, would I believe find them in my evidence, which consisted in fact of answers to a somewhat strict cross-examination.
Oriel College had recently obtained, for their Common Room, a portrait of Cardinal Newman, by Mr. Oules. The Provost of Oriel sent it over to Christ Church for Pusey to see. This act of thoughtful kindness touched him deeply.
E. B. P. TO THE PROVOST OF ORIEL.
Christ Church, Feb. 8, 1882.
Kindest thanks for your great kindness in enabling me to see the portrait of my old friend. The eyes have still their wonted sweetness; the deep lines in the cheek betoken many a care and sorrow since those old days when we took sweet counsel together. Alas for poor Oxford, which would not have him !
I have now every line of his later countenance impressed upon me as well as his former.... It is his resting countenance, full of thought, I suppose, about evils curling round the ark of God and threatening human souls.
On Mr. Thomas Mozley' s 'Reminiscences, chiefly of Oriel College and of the Oxford Movement,' he wrote many very lengthy letters. He found it almost aa difficult to correct the misstatements of that book as he had found it to suggest what replies should be written to 'Essays and Reviews' ; the inaccuracies were so numerous, the subjects so varied, and the whole point of view and tone of mind so entirely different from his own that he hardly knew where to begin or where to end. Only one portion of one letter can be given. It is selected because it contains the only possible answer to the often-quoted story of a sermon on 'Sin after Baptism' which this inaccurate and gossiping writer attributed to Pusey.
E. B. P. TO REV. H. P. LIDDON, D.D.
South Hermitage, Ascot, July 1, 1882.
I am afraid that I can be of very little use to you about poor T. Mozley' s book, because I was always living in the present, or the proximate, and not looking back, and so things left no impression upon me, so soon as they were past. I remember -- saying to me, when James Hope was taking all that pains about my Suspension, that he (J. H.) cared far more about it than I. Mozley has a chapter upon a sermon of mine on Heb. vi. 1-6. I had utterly forgotten that I had ever preached one on that text, nor does his account of it bring me back the slightest memory of' it.. He mentions the impression upon himself, that I dwelt upon sin being irreparable. He himself says, I suppose, much what I meant to say. I suppose that the great difference was, that I insisted that all things done in the body, would appear in the Day of Judgment. The Day of Judgment was very much passed over at that time. Some Evangelicals spoke of great deadly sins before their conversion as quietly as if they had been done by some one else, without expression of any compunction for them. My sermon, 'The Day of Judgment,' preached later at Brighton, astonished people, because I insisted on every act being brought into judgment. But this is about myself, not about T. Mozley.
To me, T. Mozley' s book looks like a mere string of anecdotes without the power of appreciating what he is writing about.
The statement at the beginning of this letter that he had always lived in the present, occurs frequently in letters of this period. It is his own reflection on one aspect of his life. Another interesting use of it will well bear quotation. He is writing to a friend who had asked him to furnish a list of books on a certain subject.
Christ Church, Oxford, Jan. 25 [?1882].
Thank you much for your kind wishes. In these solid walls, I have passed the winter very comfortably with my books, only ashamed of all the comfort which I have been living in.
I have, all my life, so lived in the present, that, if I could make up my mind to try to make a list of books for --, I should not know how to set about it. But I never could make a list for different people, who kindly asked me, and I have thrown the papers into the fire. I suppose that it will be true of my books, as of myself, that they served their generation and fell asleep.
Mozley' s 'Reminiscences' were most painful to him in every way. He again and again recurs to them. He longed to get some one who had lived through the whole Move–ment to write an accurate, sympathetic, and discriminating account of it. Exactly a month before his death he begs Liddon to ask Dean Church to undertake the task, or at any rate a portion of it:--
E. B. P. TO REV. H. P. LIDDON, D.D.
August 16, 1882.
He showed power of historical writing on St. Anselm, and one who could write so discriminatingly and so graphically must have his eyes about him. ... I am sure, if be has time, he could revive any know–ledge which he has parted with...- He might not like to publish it yet, because he might not like to tell of my blunders.
At the same time the prevailing tone of Mozley' s work induced Pusey to lose no time in destroying all old letters in which 'any one said anything of fault of any one.' His sense of his own near approach to the great Judgment Seat, and his deep realization of the Love of God, made all such criticisms jar upon him. In the record of the busy years of his ceaseless activity, there has of necessity been little opportunity of alluding to the deep calm that lay behind it: only a collection of his spiritual letters could reveal aright this inner peace. But two or three glimpses of it, as unveiled in his correspondence of this period, will not be thought inappropriate, before the account of his passing away to his rest. The secret life seems at this time to shine through his ordinary letters.
In acknowledging an Easter gift of a picture representing some flowers, which he had received from a little girl in whom he was specially interested, he wrote as follows:--
Christ Church, Oxford, Easter Monday, 1881.
Your loving little painting reached me this morning. I love flowers very much. They tell one such histories of the love of God. He seems to have given them all that varied beauty for no other end than to give His creatures pleasure. And there they are in deep dell or mountain top, 'where mortal foot hath ne' er or rarely been.' I have often thought that they must be for the Blessed Angels to gaze upon and thank God for. The Daisy, as it spread itself out as wide as it can, seems to be drinking in the love of Heaven; and the Rose, which opens itself to that glow from above and gives out all its fragrance, seems to be giving back love for-love. It gives back all which it has in return for the warmth which opens it. You, my very dear Beatrice, are the rosebud which no force Could open (as children sometimes try to force an opening rose with their little fingers and only spoil it), but which the glow of God' s love will open as time goes on, more and more. And the white of the lily of the valley tells of purity, and its low-hanging head of tenderness and humility. And then by the name of that lovely flower the 'Forget-me-not' : God tells you 'Forget not Me,' and then He says that great word which you have chosen, 'Thine for ever.' For God will be as much your own as if He had never made Angel or Archangel, or Cherubim or Seraphim: quite your own; quite belonging to your own individual tiny self: for St. Paul says, 'Who loved me and gave Himself for me,' as if there had been no one besides to die for. So the Psalmist says, 'O God, Thou art my God.' He is the very own God of every one who will have Him as his. And God changes not, so He will be your very own God for ever and ever and ever. So He teaches us to say, 'I am my Beloved' s, and my Beloved is mine.'
May He keep you as His very own for ever.
In another letter he is acknowledging a New Year' s gift from the brother of the same little girl. Here quite uncon–sciously, Pusey sketches a vivid picture of his own life:--
Christ Church, Oxford, Feast of the Epiphany, 1882.
It was a very pretty picture which your dear Mother chose for you to send me. She told you perhaps that it is a knight in complete armour from bead to foot. What that armour is St. Paul tells us Eph. vi. 13-17. Mama or Grandpapa will explain to you by-and-by what it is. I do not know whether you have begun yet to hear or read about knights and chivalry. There was a great deal grand about those old knights. They thought nothing of any hardships, they were very devoted and fearless, they never thought of themselves, or feared any reproach in a good cause. They were men, and so did, some of them, unwise things. Still they have left the name of 'chivalry' behind them as a name for devoted self-forgetful fearlessness in a good cause. We (St. Paul tells us) are ' soldiers of Jesus Christ.' He says of himself, 'I have fought the good fight.' God enlisted you in this warfare when He made you His child and a member of Christ, and I hope that you will be a good soldier and fight His battles bravely. it is strange that it should be hard not to be a coward. But people are cowards if they are afraid of ridicule for doing what is right. But among the young, those who do wrong laugh at those who do right because they feel themselves in the wrong, and wish to shame people out of what is good because it is a reproach to them. Then is the time to remember that you are 'a soldier of Jesus Christ,' and if you are brave, those who laughed will be ashamed of themselves. You will remember how, in the picture, the Guardian Angel points upwards to the height, reminding him where his strength lies, as St. Paul says, 'I can do all things through Christ strengthening me.'
This has been all about war and fighting. I thought what little picture I could send you as a token of my love. This is another side of our Christian life. I do not know why in these pictures they repre–sent our Lord as a little Child. Perhaps it was because at this time He became a little Child for love of us. You see while He has His own Cross in one hand, how tenderly He holds the little lamb with the other (for He calls Himself the Good Shepherd); and how trustfully the little lamb leans its head against His Bosom; which is what Isaiah foretold of Him (Is. xl. ii). That little lamb, dear, is you. For Jesus, being God as well as Man, loves each one as tenderly as if there were no Angel or Archangel, Cherubim or Seraphim; and this thought will be a treasure for you for your whole life. 'Jesus loves me,' and in the little picture He tells you be to be like Him: 'Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.' He does not say, 'Do great things' ; but be like Me, lowly.
On his birthday, two days before his last illness, he wrote the following letter in reply to a friend' s greetings on that anniversary. It recalls and illustrates Newman' s affec–tionate description in a conversation with his own sister, Mrs. Mozley. 'He spoke,' we are told, 'of Dr. Pusey with deep affection and admiration-- "so full of the love of God.”… The tone and action with which the words "so full of the love of God" were spoken live in memory to this day.'
E. B. P. TO --
South Hermitage, Ascot Priory, August 22, 1882.
God bless you for all your love. Love is indeed a wonderful thing, and yet it would be more wonderful if it were not; since love is of God, a spark out of the boundless, shoreless ocean of His Fire of Love.
What you say of this past near-half-century has been wonderful. It was often on my lips, 'This is the Lord' s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.' There was a little seed scattered, and what a harvest of souls! But God had prepared the soil, and the fields were white to harvest. There was, however, a great deal of heart' s devotion before which never talked, but acted. I remember it in those before me of whom I learned.
You, I hope, are ripening continually. God ripen you more and more. Each day is a day of growth. God says to you, 'Open thy mouth and I will fill it.' Only long. He does not want our words. The parched soil, by its cracks, opens itself for the rain from heaven and invites it. The parched soul cries out for the Living God.
Oh! then, long and long and long, and God will fill thee. More love, more love, more love!