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convince men, that, in all these years, he was honest in his purposes and convictions. That he believed himself to have the right thus to think and feel, while he retained a position which bound him, under the holiest of obligations, to other views and sympathies, we are not disposed to deny ; but the obliquity of moral vision which caused him so to see, is an outward and palpable fact, about which we may pronounce a distinct and definite judgment. And we think the judgment which an unsophisticated conscience pronounces upon such a posture of huma.. life, not in the least degree doubtful. That Dr. Newman was untrue to his vows as a Priest of the English Church, we unhesitatingly declare, and appeal, for the justification of our declaration, to the unsophisticated conscience of mankind.
He acknowledges fully the strength of his Romish sympathy, and he declares Romish views and opinions which he firmly held. Page 175, he says :
“The arguments which I have published against Romanism seem to myself as cogent as ever, but men go by their sympathies, not by argument; and if I feel the force of this influence, who bow to the arguments, why may not others still more who never have in the same degree admitted the arguments ?”
“ Nor can I counteract the danger by preaching or writing against Rome. I seem to myself almost to have shot my last arrow in the Article on English Catholicity.” [This Article was his despairing effort to recover from a shock be had received by an Article in the Dublin Review against English Catholicity J "It must be added, that the very circumstance that I have committed myself against Rome, has the effect of setting to sleep people suspicious about me, which is painful now that I begin to have suspicions about myself. I mentioned my general difficulty to A. B., a year since, than whom I know no one of a more fine and accurate conscience, and it was his spontaneous idea that I should give up St. Mary's, if my feelings continued. I mentioned it again to him lately, and he did not reverse his opinion, only expressed great reluctance to believe it must be so."
Such were Mr. N.'s sympathies and feelings, fully known to himself in 1840. His Preaching was disliked, he says in this same letter, by the Authorities of the University. The Heads of Houses
“ Exclude me, as far as may be, from the University Pulpit ; and, though I never have preached strong doctrine in it, they do so rightly, so far as this, that they understand that my sermons are calculated to VOL. XVII.
undermine things established. I cannot disguise from myself that they
No one will deny that most of my sermons are on moral subjects, not doctrinal; still, I am leading my hearers to the Primitive Church, if you will, but not to the Church of England. Now, ought one to be disgusting the minds of young men with the received religion, in the exercise of sacred office, yet without a commission,” (does he mean a commission from Rome?] “ against the wish of their guides and guvernors ?"
“ But this not all. I fear I must allow that, whether I will or no, I am disposing them towards Rome. First, because Rome is the only Representative of the Primitive Church besides ourselves; in proportion then as they are loosened from the one, they will go to the other. Next, because many doctrines which I have held, have far greater, or their only scope in the Roman system. And, moreover, if, as is not unlikely, we have in process of time heretical Bishops or teachers among us, an evil which ipso facto infects the whole community to which they belong, and if, again (what there are at this monient symptoms of), there be a movement in the English Roman Catholics to break the alliance of O'Connell and of Exeter Hall, strong temptations will be placed in the way of individuals, already imbued with a tone of thought congenial to Rome, to join her Communion.”
People tell me, on the other hand, that I am, whether by sermons or otherwise, exerting at St. Mary's a beneficial influence on our prospective clergy; but what if I take to myself the credit of seeing further than they, and of having, in the course of the last year, discovered that what they approve so much is very likely to end in Romanism ?''
Such is Mr. N.'s own avowal of the work he was doing, in the Church of England, from the year 1839, onwards. The true character of that work he saw,—a friend, of “a fine and accurate conscience,” thought that he should give up St. Mary's, if his feelings continued,—and yet, following his own conscience, which does not seem to have been so “fine and accurate” as that of his friend, and the advice of another friend, he concluded that since this friend thought he might go on, "it seems to follow that, under the circumstances, I ought to do 80;" and accordingly, he retained his living, doing the work, which, as he describes it himself, was a work of plain disloyalty to the Church, at whose altars he was ministering ; and one conducted, too, as he himself avows, under circumstances which set to sleep people's suspicions about him, and whose suspicions were confirmed by his own suspicions about himself.
There is, surely, a vicious and stifling atmosphere of bad faith, or perverse moral and intellectual perception, which oppresses us, as we make our way through these avowals of Dr. N.; —avowals made, nevertheless, for the very purpose of rebutting the charge or suspicion of dishonesty, in the course which he has pursued. It was a course which he was continually striving to justify to himself, and which he finally gave up, when it became too evident, even for him to ignore it, that it was neither true nor loyal.
He acknowledges that he concealed and kept in reserve the Romish tendency of the principles that he had preached. His confession of this is painful and mortifying in the extreme, and it is a confession, too, which well illustrates the wonderful clare-obscure of language, of which Dr. N. is such a master, in which he involves the admissions that are most damaging to the truth and straight-forwardness of the course that he has pursued. The mingled concealment and revelation, the combined state of conscious and semi-conscious sympathy with Rome, in which he proceeded thitherward, are described by himself, pp. 205, 206, in words which deserve to be recorded and remembered, as a graphic portraiture of a mind making its way through doubt and confusion, the result of a false position tenaciously clung to, the end of which, nevertheless, itself clearly discerned; like one before him, “eagerly, o'er bog, or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare, with head, hands, wings, or feet, pursuing his way," towards that imagined paradise, but real cemetery of those whose lives have been torn by the evil spirits of scepticism and unsatisfying speculation :
“In a memorandum of the year 1844 or 1845, I thus speak on this subject: If the Church be not defended on establishment grounds, it must be upon principles which go far beyond their immediate object," (how warily is this expressed.] “Sometimes I saw these further results, sometimes not. Though I saw them, I sometimes did not say that I saw them; so long as I thought that they were inconsistent, not with our Church, but only with existing opinions, I was not unwilling to insinuate truths into our Church, which I thought had a right to be there."
So did he work in the dark for the accomplishment of his
“ To so much I confess;" be says, “but I do not confess, I simply deny that I ever said anything which secretly bore against the Church of England, knowing it myself, in order that others might unwarily accept it."
[And yet he has just said that when he saw “these further results" of his teaching, “I sometimes did not say that I saw them.”] “ It was indeed one of my great difficulties,” he continues, “and causes of reserve, as time went on, that I at length recognized in principles which I had honestly preached as if Anglican, conclusions favorable to the Roman Church. Of course I did not like to confess this; and, when interrogated, was in conseqence in perplexity."
Father Newman certainly does use language with exquisite discretion. The perplexity of which he speaks, was his knowing concealment of the Romish tendencies of the principles which he had preached,—and yet, side by side with this declaration, he has already said, “I simply deny that I ever said anything which secretly bore against the Church of England, knowing it myself, in order that others might unwarily accept it;" and yet, when he did know that these principles “secretly bore against the Church of England,” he “did not like to confess it,” he says, “and, when interrogated, was, in consequence, in perplexity."
Such a procedure he now wishes to convince the world was honest and above-board. We see, through this sad confession, the influence of a false position in which he was for years, and to which he clung, against the advice of men of "a nice and accurate conscience,” in perverting the moral judgment, and blinding the moral perceptions, and hiding, from the man himself, it may be, the full import of the course which he was taking
In the continuance of the passage last quoted, he shews how he felt the pressure of the position in which he was placed, and how he sought to conceal from himself, if so he might, the bearings of the course on which he was proceeding. It is a most instructive record of the misery and humiliation and danger of living in the atmosphere of a false position, in concerns of the highest moment.
“The prime instance of this," he continues, " was the Appeal to Antiquity ; St. Leo had overset, in my own judgment, its force in the special argument for Anglicanism; yet I was committed to Antiquity, together with the whole Anglican school; what then was I to say, when acute minds urged this or that application of it against the Via Media ? It wasimpossible that, in such circumstances, any answer could be given which was not unsatisfactory, or any behavior adopted which was not mysterious. Again, sometimes in what I wrote I went just as far as I saw, and could as little say more, as I could see what is below the horizon; and therefore, when asked as to the consequences of what I had said, had no answer to give. Again, sometimes, when I was asked whether certain conclusions did not follow from a certain principle, I might not be able to tell at the moment, especially if the matter were complicated; and for this reason, if for no other, because there is great difference between a conclusion in the abstract and a conclusion in the concrete, and because a conclusion may be modified in fact by a conclusion from some opposite principle. Or it might so happen that I got simply confused, by the very clearness of the logic which was administered to me, and thus gave my sanction to conclusions which really were not mine; and when the report of those conclusions came round to me through others, I had to unsay them. And then again, perhaps I did not like to see men scared or scandalized by unfeeling logical inferences, which would not have touched them to the day of their death, had they not been made to eat them. And then I felt altogether the force of the maxim of St. Ambrose, “Non io dialectica complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum;" I had a great dislike of paper logic. For myself, it was not logic that carried me on; as well might one say that the quicksilver in the barometer changes the weather. It is the concrete being that reasons;—pass a number of years, and I find my mind in a new place;-how? the whole man moves; paper logic is but the record of it. All the logic in the world would not have made me move faster towards Rome than I did. As well might you say that I have arrived at the end of my journey, because I see the village Church before me, as venture to assert that the miles, over which my soul had to pass before it got to Rome, could be annihilated, even though I had had some far clearer view than I then had, that Rome was my ultimate destination. Great acts take time. At least this is what I felt in my own case; and therefore, to come to me with methods of logic, had in it the nature of a provocation; and, though I do not think that I ever showed it, made me somewhat indifferent how I met them, and perhaps led me, as a means of relieving my impatience, to be mysterious or irrelevant, or to give in because I could not reply. And a greater trouble still than these logical mazes, was the introduction of logic into every subject what. ever, so far, that is, as it was done. Before I was at Oriel, I recollect an acquaintance saying to me that “the Oriel Common Room stank of Logic.” One is not at all pleased when poetry, or eloquence, or devotion, is considered, as if chiefly intended to feed syllogisms. Now, in saying all this, I am saying nothing against the deep piety and earnestness which were characteristics of this second phase of the Movement, in which I have taken so prominent a part. What I have been observing is, that this phase had a tendency to bewilder and to upset me, and that instead of saying so, as I ought to have done, in a sort of easiness, for what I know, I gave answers at random, which have led to my appearing close or inconsistent." VOL. XVII.