Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
EARLY RELATION TO RITUAL--SPEECH AT MEETING OF
ENGLISH CHURCH UNION IN 1866--EUCHARISTIC
DOCTRINE--THE BENNETT CASE--OXFORD IN 1870--
THE PRIVY COUNCIL JUDGMENTS IN THE PURCHAS AND BENNETT CASES.
AT one period during the troubles in connexion with 'Essays and Reviews,' there appeared to be reasonable ground for hoping that the two great parties in the Church were about to work together in defence of those common beliefs of Christendom which appeared to be in danger. But to some minds this union was most undesirable. It has been noticed that Dr. Tait, the Bishop of London, regarded it as his 'own vocation' to put an end to such a combination, as being dangerous to the Broad Church party, The progress of the movement for increased ceremonial in public worship, and the popular outcry that was raised against it, assisted him most effectually to realize such a 'vocation.' This 'Ritualistic' controversy, which dates from –a period before the 'Essays and Reviews' appeared, and continued to rage so long afterwards, not only effectually brought about the separation which he desired, it embit–tered party spirit, it frittered away time, wasted money, injured souls, and exposed the Church to the ridicule of her adversaries. Yet it was a controversy which involved questions of the highest moment. The doctrine of the 'Real Presence,' the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Worship, the doctrine of Absolution, the practice of private Confession, were directly involved in it; and, as if these questions were not of sufficient intricacy and importance, a proposal to discontinue the use of the Athanasian Creed was inci–dentally thrown in. On all these points there was a sharp severance between the two great sections of the Church. The Latitudinarian party associated itself as a rule, with the Evangelicals; and in the Athanasian Creed controversy the Evangelicals sided with them. The High Church party stood alone, but solidly compacted, in defence of all the doctrinal and the more important ceremonial positions: and on every point they won the day.
To a certain extent, 'Ritualism' was an inevitable result of the Oxford Movement. The Tractarians were imme–diately concerned with the revival of forgotten or half-forgotten truths; but at the first the use of ritual for the expression of doctrine had not even presented itself to their minds. Some letters, written in 1839, which have appeared in a preceding volume, will show Pusey' s earliest attitude towards any tendency to the outward expression of a devotional spirit in forms with which ordinary Churchmen were not in those days familiar. The same general position is taken in a letter written in 1851, to the Incumbent of Christ Church, Hoxton, who was involved in difficulties in connexion with some changes in ritual which he had ventured to introduce.
E. B. P. TO REV. W., SCOTT.
Jan. 1, 1851.
I am grieved to hear of your trouble about your ritual. One most grievous offence seems to be turning your back to the people. I was not ritualist enough to know, until the other day that the act of turning had any special meaning in the Consecration. And it certainly seemed against the Rubric, that the. Consecration should take place so that they cannot see it. Dear Newman consecrated to the last of his Consecra–tions at the North end of the altar. Everything may have a meaning. It was, as you know, in some old Roman Churches, the custom to consecrate behind the altar. This too might have its meaning; and the eyes of the people might be more directed to the Oblation.
I cannot myself think that this, or any other ritual, is of moment enough (if not essential to the Sacrament) that priests who would work in the service of the Church should give up, because the Bishop insists on his interpretation of the rubric. Beauty, ritual, music, are all helps; but if we [be] bared of all, three hundred men and the sword of the Lord and of Gideon will rout the mixed rabble. If we cannot have [the] very ritual some of us wish, we have the Faith and the Truth of God, and Holy Scripture, and the Fathers and the Prayer-book and the Holy Eucharist. 'They be more that be for us than they that be against us.'
In the light of this letter it seems a strange irony that the ignorant agitators who led the outcry against the increasing development of ceremonial should have attached the title 'Puseyism' to everything of the kind, from the wearing of the surplice in the pulpit or turning to the East at the Creed, to the most ornate celebration of the Holy Eucharist. During the disgraceful riots at St. George' s in the East in the years 1859 and 1860, in which the scum of London was hounded on to mob the Rev. Bryan King for ceremonial usages, the cry most frequently raised was 'Down with the Puseyites' ; and the Society which or–ganized the disturbances was called 'the Anti-Puseyite League.' Dr. Tait, who was then Bishop of London, did not know Pusey well enough to understand his attitude towards ritual, and had apparently written to him about his 'friends' who were supposed to have given occasion to these disgraceful scenes. Pusey replied:--
E. B. P. TO THE BISHOP (TAIT) OF LONDON.
April 26, 1860.
In regard to my 'friends,' perhaps I regret the acts to which your lordship alludes as deeply as you do. I am in this strange position, that my name is made a byword for that with which I never had any sympathy, that which the writers of the Tracts, with whom in early days I was associated, always deprecated,--any innovations in the way of conducting the Service, anything of Ritualism, or especially any revival of disused Vestments. I have had no office in the Church which would entitle me to speak publicly. If I had spoken, it would have been to assume the character of one of the leaders of a party, which I would not do. Of late years, when Ritualism has become more prominent, I have looked out for a natural opportunity of dissociating myself from it, but have not found one. I have been obliged, therefore, to confine myself to private protests which have been unlistened to, or to a warning to the young clergy from the University pulpit against self-willed changes in ritual. Altogether I have looked with sorrow at the crude way in which some doctrines have been put forward, without due pains to prevent misunderstanding, and ritual has been forced upon the people, unexplained and without their consent. I soon regretted the attempt which the late Bishop [Blomfield] made, and which was defeated. Had I been listened to, these miserable disturbances in St. George' s in the East would have been saved....
But in the next few years the position of ritual entered on a new phase. Perhaps the change cannot be described better than in Pusey' s own words, in a speech which he made when he first joined the English Church Union. It was delivered at the seventh anniversary meeting of that Society, on June 14, 1866, in proposing a Resolution which called on all the members of the English Church Union to pray for the Church of England.
'It is well known that I never was a Ritualist and that I never wrote a single word on ritual until a short time ago, when my opinion had been quoted against it, on the strength - of some particular expressions which I had used. In our early days we were anxious on the subject of ritual. I am speaking of days that very few here can know anything of--three-and-thirty years ago. The circumstances of those times were entirely different from those of our own. Then there was not the amount of evil or the amount of good that there is now. There was then a state of apathy in which nothing was disbelieved, and perhaps very little held very deeply. There was less of luxury and extravagance in those day and there was very little of self-denial. Everything was on a cold level. What we had to do was to rouse the Church to a sense of what she possessed; and, being ourselves as nothing, so to teach her that she should herself act in all things healthfully from herself. We had further a distinct fear with regard to ritual; and we privately discouraged it, lest the whole movement should become superficial. At that time everything we did was very popular; and we felt that it was very much easier to change a dress than to change the heart, and that externals might be gained at the cost of the doctrines themselves. To have introduced ritual before the doctrines had widely taken possession of the hearts of the people, would only have been to place an obstruction in their way. It would have been like children sticking flowers in the ground to perish immediately. Our office was rather, so to speak, to plant the bulb where by God' s blessing it might take root, and grow and flower beautifully, naturally, healthfully, fragrantly, lastingly. We had also ground for fear lest it should be thought we were only engaged in a matter of external order. There used to be a painful motto, " Evangelical truth and Apostolical order”--as if we had not also the truth in all its fullness, and as if all that we cared for were matters of order.
'Again, we thought that nothing should be done by the clergy till it was asked for by the great body of the people. There was at that time a school--a somewhat stiff school--who were anxious on all occasions to bring out all the details of the rubrics, and that even in matters which were of no importance whatever, and which had no definite meaning; though they created not only tumults, but an idea of clerical tyranny. Of course you remember how the Bishop of this diocese and the Bishop of Exeter, two of the ablest prelates on the bench, endeavoured to introduce a low uniformity of ritual, and how they were successively and entirely defeated. Our own maxim was--first gain the people, and then the people will of themselves gain what we wish.
'Now, in these days, many of the difficulties which we had in the first instance to contend with have been removed. In the first place, I suppose that this is from its very centre a lay movement. The clergy have taught it the people, and the people have asked it of the clergy. We taught it them; they felt it to be true: and they said, " Set it before our eyes." There is no danger of superficialness now. Thirty years of suffering, thirty years of contempt, thirty years of trial, would prevent anything from being superficial.'
At that time the outcry against Ritualism, from the platform and the press, was so loud and persistent that there was every fear that the Bishops would commit themselves to some united action against it; and any such action in response to mere clamour might well result in far-reaching disaster. The leading opponents of Ritual and its most weighty supporters alike understood the real point at issue. Elaborate ceremonial and costly decoration of the Altars of the Church were both intended to set forth the highest doctrine in connexion with the Holy Eucharist. Both the doctrine and the ceremonial were equally obnoxious to the Protestant mind; but the ceremonial afforded a more obvious point of attack than the doctrine, and more readily admitted of the invidious charge of Romanizing. All the world knew that ceremonial was a recent reintro–duction; it was therefore taken for granted that it was contrary to the law, and a revival of what the Reforma–tion had forbidden. In February, 1867, the Bishops, in the Convocation of Canterbury, passed a Resolution on the subject of Ritualism. In the preamble to this Resolution, they adopted the vague language of popular denunciation, and said that Ritualism was in danger of 'favouring errors deliberately rejected by the Church of England.' Such a statement, issued on the authority of the Upper House of Convocation, made it necessary to clear the doctrinal meaning of Eucharistic ritual from all ambiguity. Therefore, in the same month, Pusey took the opportunity of the publication of one of his University sermons to state quite definitely his belief with regard to the Holy Eucharist, and to identify himself entirely with the Ritualists in that respect. He wished it to be understood that he held and taught the doctrine which they expressed by means of ceremonial, and desired to shield them if necessary by diverting prosecution to himself. He ends his statement of faith with the following challenge:--
'These truths I would gladly have to maintain, by the help of God; on such terms that, if (per impossibile, as I trust) it should be decided by a competent authority, that either the Real Objective Presence, or the Eucharistic Sacrifice, or the worship of Christ there present (as I have above stated those doctrines), were contrary to the doctrine held by the Church of England, I would resign my office. Extra-judicial censures, or contradictions, or opinions, if directed against faith or truth, condemn none but their authors.'
Two months later, the Rev. C. P. Golightly wrote and published an anonymous Letter to the Churchwardens of the Diocese of Oxford, in which he alleged charges of serious doctrinal error against Pusey. Bishop Wilberforce felt that so public a statement ought not to be overlooked; and at his wish Pusey wrote to the local papers inviting Mr. Golightly to institute proceedings against him. He promised that he would not avail himself of any side issue that might be raised, but would confine his defence simply to the question of doctrine. He alludes to this matter when writing to Newman about the Eirenicon.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. H. NEWMAN.
Christ Church, Oxford, May 2, 1867.
I am rather waiting to see whether Golightly accepts a challenge of mine which you may have seen, if you read the Guardian. Of course I don' t care a pin for his abuse; I only did it because he was trying to stir up the Churchwardens in the three counties [Oxford, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire], and the Bishop of Oxford wished something done. I have staked my office on the result, if I am decided wrong by a 'competent tribunal.' .
I think the more seriously about Golightly' s possible move, because the feeling that it was serious came over me, after I had committed the challenge to God as should be for His glory. I mean that He hears such prayers, when one offers Him one' s all: and though Courts are slow to convict error, it does not follow that they will be slow to condemn truth. They have an instinct that it is against them. But perhaps G. likes hounding others on, rather than fighting himself....
But Golightly never took the case into the Vice-Chan–cellor' s Court. It is quite possible that the legal difficulties of the suit were insurmountable; and the contest continued on the ground of ritual, in which Pusey was the least interested, instead of on doctrine, where his whole mind was engaged.
The fist Report of the Ritual Commission in August, 1867, was mistakenly regarded, at first sight, as a clear attempt to put down all ritual, and as a call for legislation in that direction; but a little later Pusey came to see that the apparently adverse recommendations of that Report were only directed against any attempt to impose ritual on unilling congregations. At the English Church Union meeting on November 20, 1867, he warmly supported a Resolution to the effect that any proposed alteration of existing laws on the subject should be resisted by Church–men to the utmost of their power. But at the same meeting he spoke most strongly against making any changes in the Services of a parish Church in opposition to the wishes of the communicants In that Church. This regard for the laity in ceremonial points was, he main–tained, entirely different from the question of their inter–ference in matters involving doctrine. He said:--
'The question does not in the least refer to legislation.... The share of the laity in legislation is one thing, and the right of an individual priest by himself, without the support of his Bishop, or of the general body of the Clergy, or of his own congregation, to introduce changes into the Services is quite another. I do wish to lay stress upon the point that no individual member of the whole body has a right to make changes by himself.... It has been said that we may have to wait a long time before we can introduce any change at all if we are to wait till we can win the parishioners. I believe it would be better to wait almost any time, except for the Bread of Life Itself--I mean the weekly Communion--rather than introduce changes against the wish of the communicants, especially in this matter of reviving obsolete laws' .
On this occasion he had great difficulty in carrying his hearers with him. He described the scene to a corre–spondent several years afterwards:--
'I had three-fourths or four-fifths of a meeting of the E. C. U. against me on a sentence of mine disclaiming the forcing of ritual on an unwilling congregation. They gave way when I said that if such a proposition were rejected I could be of no more use to the E. C. U. or to Ritualism. But I had only one supporter besides -- and I could tell from the scraping of feet throughout the discussion that my opponents had the hearts of the meeting; not I.'
In the following year, however, his Eucharistic doctrine was submitted to a legal tribunal in a most unexpected manner, and with every possible disadvantage. In the summer of 1868, the Church Association commenced a prosecution against the Rev. W. J. E. Bennett, Vicar of Frome Selwood, for his doctrine of the Eucharist, chiefly as stated in a published Letter to Pusey. In this Letter he had identified himself with Pusey, but also had used some unguarded and inaccurate language about the Eucharist. Pusey disowned these statements, and induced Mr. Bennett to amend them. At the same time he requested the Church Association to direct the prosecution against him–self instead of against Mr. Bennett. After a little hesitation this request was refused, on the ground (which apparently was sufficiently correct for controversial purposes) that Pusey had already been authoritatively condemned by the University of Oxford; and the prosecution was continued against Mr. Bennett, for his earlier words, in spite of his amended statement. When the case came on for trial Pusey made several efforts to be included in the suit. In the following letter he explains the grounds for his very justifiable anxiety about it:--
E. B. P. TO RIGHT HON. W. E. GLADSTONE, M.P.
Christ Church, Oxford, Dec. 6, 1868.
Amid your many anxious duties, you are not likely to have observed minutely the charges against Mr. Bennett or to have observed how they affect me primarily, and then the whole High Church body. It is a strange part of the present condition of the law, that an accessory, so to speak, may be indicted so as to involve the condemnation of the principal, and yet that principal have no opportunity of defending himself. Except two careless expressions, which Bennett retracted at my wish, he is indicted simply for approval of language of mine, which he states to be mine in the places in which he expresses that approval. If then the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council should condemn Bennett, then I am already condemned: for they are my ipsissima verba for which he would be condemned. And since the Supreme Court of Appeal never reverses its decisions, I could obtain no subsequent hearing. It would be impossible for them, having condemned Bennett for expressing approval of words of mine to acquit me whose words he approved.
Were it simply my own case I should not be troubled myself, or trouble you. It matters little where I spend the remaining years of my life. But it is the existence of the whole High Church body, which is aimed at, and which is at stake; and, with them, the possible existence of any future High Church party in England. This Judgement is to us what the Gorham Judgment would have been to the Evangelicals.
When Dr. Jackson succeeded Dr. Tait in the See of London it seemed as if the Bennett prosecution might lapse. But by the following August not only was this found to be untrue, but also it was announced that Bennett had definitely refused to defend himself or allow himself to be defended. Since he had identified himself with Pusey, this meant that Pusey was on his trial in an undefended suit, and could get no chance of a hearing. He was, as he said, in the position of Uriah, in the assault on Rabbah. He had been set in the -forefront of the battle and there left without any means of defence.
The Case was heard before the Court of Arches on June 16, 17, and 18, 1870, and Judgment was pronounced on July 23. Dr. Phillimore condemned Mr. Bennett' s first statements, but acquitted him on the ground of the cor–rected statements in his second edition. He affirmed that it was permissible in the English Church to teach that the Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist was 'objective, real, actual, and spiritual,' and that Mr. Bennett' s statements about the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Eucharistic worship did not exceed the liberty allowed by the Formularies and the language used by a long roll of illustrious divines who have adorned the English Universities. So far the faith of the Church was clearly defined; but the case was at once carried by the Church Association before the Final Court of Appeal, and the anxious position was indefinitely prolonged.
On the news of Dr. Phillimore' s decision, Pusey thus expresses his sense of the situation in a letter to Dr. Bright
E. B. P. TO REV. W. BRIGHT, D.D.
[July 24, 1870.]
It is indeed a great defeat of the Church Association, they having taken what they felt to be vantage ground on Bennett' s inaccurate statements and B. not defending himself. Lord Cairns will do what he can, but he cannot reverse it. However, it is a matter of prayer that he may not be Chancellor by next October.
Dr. Bright was one of the younger generation of brilliant and learned men, who had grown up under the influences of the Oxford Movement, and was at this time beginning to take a leading place in the counsels of Churchmen in the University. He had been appointed in December, 1868, to the Regius Professorship of Ecclesiastical History, to which was annexed a Canonry at Christ Church. Pusey welcomed him to the Chapter with great joy. 'I have been here,' be said, 'forty years, and have never had any one like-minded until now.
At this time also the growing friendship with Liddon, which has been evident in their frequent letters, was another source of great joy and real help to Pusey. He had hoped that Liddon would, as he had himself done, spend his life at the University, for he was convinced that no other place in England offered any equal oppor–tunity for influencing the religious future of the country. But Liddon refused the Wardenship of Keble College, and in 1870 accepted a Canonry at St. Paul' s, in each case in spite of Pusey' s earnest entreaties. In the former case, Liddon left the decision with Bishop Hamilton; in the latter, after conditionally accepting it, he threw the final decision on Pusey himself, and Pusey decided that the acceptance. had better stand. it was therefore all the greater delight to him when, on June 11 of the same year, Liddon was elected to the Ireland Professorship of Exegesis in the University. He hailed it as a means of keeping him in Oxford, there to fight the battle of the Faith by his side.
E. B. P. TO REV. H. P. LIDDON.
[June 11], 1870.
You see this is no doing of mine. I hope that you will think this is the Voice of God. It is, equally with St. Paul' s, without any act of you or your friends. I had so completely given it up that I was only anxious against --. . . . I am sure that you have the ear and heart of the young men.... I thought when Scott was going, and you, as I supposed, gone, that the Oxford for which we laboured so many years was given up to the infidel. Do then, in the Name of God, accept this.
Undoubtedly the fight for the Faith in Oxford at that moment needed every soldier, and Liddon could ill be spared from a place where he had already made so great an impression. To Pusey' s great happiness he accepted the Chair.
Soon afterwards Mr. Gladstone appointed another most able pupil of the early Tractarian movement, Mr. J. B. Mozley, to be Regius Professor of Divinity. As a young graduate he had lived in Pusey' s house and studied theology, and was for several years one of Newman' s closest friends. On the day of his Ordination, in 1838, Newman had written to him the following note: 'Charissime, I send you my surplice, not knowing whether or not you want it. It is that in which I was ordained deacon and priest ' As 1845 came nearer there was a suspension of this as of so many other friendships; and a little later his published opinions on the Baptismal controversy had caused him to stand somewhat aloof from the High Church party alto–gether. But he was well known as one of the most keen and able minds as well as a most brilliant Essayist; a reputation which he more than sustained by the great power of his later University sermons. He had been for some time holding a college living at Shoreham in Sussex, when he was appointed to the Professorship, vacated by Dr. Payne Smith' s installation as Dean of Canterbury, and Pusey wrote to tell him of the change that had come over the intellectual life of Oxford since the old times when he had lived under his roof. Then it had been the day of grace for the Church in Oxford; but now her enemies were compassing her on every side.
E. B. P. TO REV. J. B. MOZLEY.
Christ Church, Oxford, Feb. 7, 1871.
How strangely different are the times, in which you return among us, from those in which you left us. Now the fight is not for funda–mentals even, but as to the existence of a Personal God, the living of the soul after death, or whether we have any souls at all, whether there is or can be any positive truth, except as to Physics, &c. I asked a physical Professor about a R. C. book on Geology, and the relations of Physical Science to faith discussed in it. 'No one,' he said, 'thinks any longer of this; the question is wholly removed to Materialism, &c.;' and instanced some eminent person [or persons], who was entirely happy, having satisfied himself that he had no hereafter. Other physicists look upon Revelation as an interference with the study of physical certainties.
But we have a grand battle; I, for whatever time remains to me; you, during, I hope, many years of vigour. It is an encouragement that the battle is so desperate. All or nothing: as when the Gospel first broke in upon heathen philosophies, and the fishermen had the victory.
REV. J. B. MOZLEY TO E. B. P.
Shoreham, Feb. 9, 1871.
I thank you much for your note, though it contains a sad disclosure of the influence now at work in Oxford. It certainly would seem that a form of Comtism was the prevailing thought of the day, and that it was the only shape in which they would admit the principle of morality and obligation of any kind. People cannot throw over morality altogether, but they imbed it in a more material system. What you mention about persons actually not wanting an hereafter is a horrible feature of the day, and sounds almost like a Second Fall and a descent from human nature.
About the same time Mr. Gladstone made another not less notable addition to the power of the Church in Oxford by nominating the Rev. Edward King, who had been for ten years Principal of the Theological College at Cuddes–don, to the Chair of Pastoral Theology, vacant by the death of Dr. Ogilvie. To the varied and brilliant abilities of the already remarkable body of Theological Professors, Dr. King contributed, besides other high qualifications for his office, a gift of sympathy so extraordinary that it has been well described as 'nothing less than a form of genius.' As a result of this singular power, he was already in touch with a large number of clergy in every part of the country; and soon after his arrival at Oxford he obtained an influence over the younger members of the University second only, if not quite equal to, that of the most distinguished of his colleagues.
But Pusey was obliged repeatedly to turn from the special difficulties of the Church in the University to the less congenial controversy about Ritual. On February 23, 1871, the Ritual suit against the Rev. J. Purchas, Incumbent of St. James' Chapel, Brighton, was decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. In this decision it was declared that the Rubric which enjoins that, at the time of the consecration in the Communion Service, the priest shall stand 'before the table,' does not necessarily mean 'between the table and the people' ; and they condemned Mr. Purchas for having so interpreted it. A petition was made that the Case might be re-heard: but it was refused on the ground of 'the grave public mischief that would arise from any doubt being thrown on the finality of the determination of the Judicial Com–mittee. The Eastward Position of the officiating clergyman which had thus been declared to be illegal and penal, was by widespread consent very closely connected in the popular apprehension with the maintenance of Eucharistic truth, and certainly was most in accordance with the prevailing practice of Christendom. It was practically identified in the eyes of those congregations who had, been accustomed to it, with a belief, in the Sacrificial aspect of the Holy Eucharist.
This decision of. the Privy Council did not stand alone. The Archbishop of Canterbury publicly stated' that the Bishops would be ready to enforce its observance in cases which were brought before them in a legal way; and the officers of the Church Association exhorted their members to be vigilant and unsparing, loud in an 'abundance of complaints,' while they laid special emphasis on the doctrinal meaning of what was thus condemned. In the face of such a combined attack, Churchmen felt that everything had to be risked to obtain a new hearing of this point, unless the Church of England was to stand committed to the doctrinal standard of the Church Association. They declined to say what they would do, if the Purchas Judgment was finally declared to be the lawful interpretation of the Rubrics; but for the present it was generally agreed to court further prosecution.
At the same time, the Bishop of London announced that he had no option about enforcing the Judgment on his clergy; and therefore the two Senior Canons of St. Paul' s, the Rev. R. Gregory and Dr. Liddon, wrote to him stating that they would continue to say the Prayer of Consecration as ordered in the Rubric, and begging to be included in any proceedings that he thought it good to sanction. Pusey at the same time published a Letter to Liddon. He expressed regret that although he used the Eastward Position elsewhere, believing it to be in accordance with the Rubric, and most in harmony with the highest act of Divine worship, he thought himself compelled to abstain from it in the Cathedral at Oxford, where alone he could be held responsible. He proceeded to point out the gravity of the Judgment: that the Privy Council, under whose authority the greatest laxity of doctrine had been sanctioned in the 'Essays and Reviews' case, was now proceeding to enforce the most rigid stringency in matters of Ritual. He thought resistance a lesser evil than obedience, but he declined to counsel any co-operation with those who would disestablish the Church, 'in view of the sufferings and privations, temporal and spiritual, of our villages,' if that policy were carried out. But he adds, 'We may be driven (and God only knows how soon) to decide whether it be right and faithful to our God " propter vitam vivendi perdere causas," for the sake of an Establish–nlent which has such a fleeting life to see that wrested from us which alone gives to Establishments their value.'
This Letter he published as a postscript to a Letter which Liddon wrote to Sir John Coleridge, who entirely sympathized with the opposition to the decision. Pusey added yet a few more words at the last moment about the condemnation of the Mixed Chalice.
E. B. P. TO REV. H. P. LIDDON, D.D.
April 5, 1871.
When will your letter be printed? It would be worth while for me to give the proof about the Mixed Chalice, and this I would ascertain at the British Museum on Monday. It is so absurd that the Court should have laid down that the Church of England condemns our Blessed Lord' s mode of celebration. But it is better not to wait a day for anything except that you write fully what you mean.
It is a grand fight and enough to make one twenty years younger.
But at is of moment that the Letter should be out as soon as it is consistent with your other occupations and the fullness of your life,
It is a sort of programme of our proceedings, which ought to stay the minds of our friends. And every word of yours will be of value, especially for the younger men and for England.
He was extremely anxious to throw in his lot with those who contravened the Privy Council' s interpretation of the law by taking the Eastward position in the Cathedral at Oxford; but he refrained from doing so out of personal regard for two of the Canons who would be pained by such an action. Yet he found himself forced to adopt it by the fact that his practice at Christ Church was alleged against Liddon at St. Paul' s. Therefore; from Ascension Day, 1871 and onwards, he consecrated eastwards in the Cathedral, except when either Dr. Ogilvie or Dr. Heurtley was present.
Three years later, after Dr. Ogilvie' s death, he began to use the Eastward position on all occasions, as he thought that Dr. Heurtley would not object; but he received at once a letter of rermonstrance on the 'breach of law.' His answer showed exactly his relation to this practice:--
E. B. P. TO THE REV. DR. HEURTLEY.
Christ Church, April 25, 1874.
I do not know whether you have seen anything which I have written publicly. I have adhered to the way used at Christ Church, in order not to give pains to Canons yet older than myself, especially dear Ogilvie. I do not attach any doctrinal meaning to the position. Of course, I cannot; since until of late I have not used it. I suppose that you have not been in Church when I have used it before, but having used it before I did not think that you minded it. I believe that in standing as I did this morning, I was obeying the law of the Church, which directs me to stand 'before the Table' ; for 'before the Table' cannot, I think, mean 'at the side of the Table,' and Lord Cairns' Judgment cannot alter the meaning of the English word 'before.' However I have, for love' s sake, disobeyed what seemed to me the obvious and necessary meaning of the Church' s law, because I thought that the law of charity was a higher law. But as to setting at naught Lord Cairns' Judgment as to its meaning, there is no way of' see king to have the matter tried again' (which you seem to think allowable) save by contravening it. ... If you read the Times, you will see that my practice was made an argument against that of my friends (such as Liddon and Gregory at St. Paul' s), and believing that you did not feel strongly about it (as in a matter of fact you do not, except that you suppose it to be a breach of law) I made the slight change from my former position. However charity is the higher law, and since it pains you, you need not fear that I should use it when you are there.... In law I am told that there is what is called 'judge-made law,' that is the result of the Judgments delivered, if undisputed. It is a principle I have understood in civil law that such Judgments may be contra–vened with a view to having the question reconsidered. Those who have contravened Lord Cairns' Judgment have been acting, I under–stand, on a principle recognized by law.
The far more directly important prosecution of Mr. Bennett for Eucharistic doctrine was, as has been said, not allowed to rest after the acquittal in the Court of Arches. The appeal of the Church Association to the Privy Council was heard in December, 1871, Lord Hatherley being Lord Chancellor; and on June 8, 171, in the very crisis of the anxiety about the Athanasian Creed, the Judgment was delivered. The Final Court confirmed the decision of the Court of Arches. The news was brought by Dr. Bright to Pusey, who was far from well. He was already beginning to suffer from the illness which necessitated his going abroad in the next Long Vacation, and terminated eventu–ally in the dangerous attack of the following January. Dr. Bright thus describes the interview with him:--
'Went to see Pusey. He is very glad, of course. But he has got a fresh cold, and he now finds he cannot work in the evening... He is certainly much weaker than he was in body. But how like him it was to say, with a sweet, eager look, after we had been talking of this failure of the attempt to get Bennett condemned, " Well now, how would it do to make one more appeal to the Evangelicals and say, 'Now that this is over, will you not join with us in opposing unbelief?”' I answered in effect that I felt sure they would not respond to this appeal. I instanced Shaftesbury' s present line about the Athanasian Creed. " Ah!" he said, " I don' t understand Shaftesbury now.”'
After being defeated on a point of such critical impor–tance, it is astonishing that the Church Association could continue the childish policy of attacking the ritual which expressed the doctrine they could not touch. Those who used the. ritual could not surrender it, when they had taught their people what it meant, without appearing to surrender the doctrine itself. But so long as they retained it, the Church Association was resolved to use to the utmost the weapon which the decision in the Purchas case had put into their hands, and, under the sacred plea of enforcing 'the law,' to prosecute these outward expressions of a truth which they themselves had given the Law Courts an opportunity of affirming.
At this time Pusey had to use all his influence to prevent Liddon leaving Oxford. Under the strain of the twofold work of his Professorship at Oxford and his Canonry at St. Paul' s, and amid the excitement of the day, his health was breaking down. His medical adviser recommended the resignation of the Professorship, but Pusey wrote to explain that he did not think such a course would give the needed relief.
E. B. P. TO DR. OGLE.
Christ Church, Oxford, Jan. 21, .
No one can influence Liddon except his physician. Have you observed the effect of that peculiar work at St. Paul' s, the strain on his whole strength from that preaching under the dome, and all his lecturing? I used to be in terror at the strain of his preaching long before he was made Canon. He was ill, I think, repeatedly after a sermon. He throws his whole energy into his sermon, and speaks, I suppose, not in his natural voice, but with an exhausting force.
My own belief is, that the resignation of his Professorship would only aggravate the physical evil, and that he would only bring about what you dread, all the sooner. He imbibed from Bp. Hamilton, to whom he much looked up, the thought that Cathedrals ought to be places of very central exertion, which they could not be under the system of a three months' residence. . .
Last year the stress was the greater, because, through a vacancy at St. Paul' s, he had four months' residence, instead of three; in those four months he was straining himself to the utmost, and then his work here was the more oppressive because he had less time in which to do it. . .
But conceive his having no work except his Canonry, and that, with that vast Church to fill, and his idea of carrying out Bp. Hamilton' s thought of what a Cathedral ought to be, and the terrific spiritual wants of London; do you not think that the towards six months, which are spent here, would be employed in much more exhausting work in London?
I should look upon his resigning his Professorship, as consigning him to an early death, on account of the excessive strain of his mul–tiplying and ramifying work at St. Paul' s....
I write this letter, because you seemed to take it for granted, that his resignation of his Professorship would be a diminution of toil.
'I believe that it would be an aggravation of it; and this opinion I found on all my past knowledge of his mind. But I write it, not, to elicit an answer, but for your consideration medically.
The earnest wish that lay behind arguments of the as Liddon always called him, prevailed, and he retained his Professorship, at whatever cost of physical strain, until after Pusey' s death.