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and independent: this is quite consistent with a full measure of ecclesiastical supremacy."
It is not necessary to dwell further upon this Irish University fiasco. Newman's connexion with it came virtually to an end in 1857.10 But his sojourn among a strange people was not, indeed, altogether unfruitful. It produced his University Lectures-a splendid and lasting memorial of those years of exile. I cannot dwell upon them here. The reader who has not time to peruse them in their entirety will find a lucid account of them in Mr. Ward's thirteenth chapter. Let us follow Newman back to his home in the Birmingham Oratory, where new undertakings awaited him. He had meditated a work on the subject which supplies the theme of his Oxford University Sermonsthe Relation between Faith and Reason-but a proposal which Cardinal Wiseman had made to him in August 1857, to edit a new English version of the Bible, had, he thought, a prior claim upon him. The old Douay translation was widely unacceptable, as I can well understand for my own part I have never been able to use it my teeth are set on edge, if I may so express myself, by its harshness. The Synod of Oscott had recommended a fresh rendering from the Vulgate and Cardinal Wiseman, with the concurrence of the other Bishops, asked Newman to undertake the work. He accepted without hesitation or reluctance' a task of which he felt the arduousness to be as great as the honour.' But the affair came to nothingwhy, has never been clearly explained. Cardinal Wiseman, ill, and preoccupied with other grave matters, showed no interest in it, nor apparently did any of the Bishops. Newman himself, in one of his letters, quotes a statement from the Union Review that the project was defeated by the remonstrances of a single bookseller, whose stock-in-trade of Douay Bibles proved to be a more valuable consideration than our intelligence.' It had, however, cost Newman money which he could ill spare, and had involved him in a great deal of troublesome correspondence. This new fiasco was the greater disappointment to him as he had hit upon, and, indeed, had begun to carry out, a plan for
• Ibid. p. 367. Mr. Ward does not give the date of this letter, but apparently it is 1855 or 1856. I should note here that Newman did full justice to Cardinal Cullen's merits. I ever had the greatest, the truest reverence for the good Cardinal Cullen,' he wrote in 1879. 'I used to say that his countenance had a light upon it, which made me feel as if, during his many years at Rome, all the Saints of the Holy City had been looking into it and he into theirs.' Ibid. p. 384. And Cardinal Cullen had a true appreciation of Newman. In 1867 Pius the Ninth, worried with detractory hints about Newman's orthodoxy, requested Cardinal Cullen, a profound theologian, to report on the matter. The report was entirely favourable to Newman, and was communicated to him by the Pope's express desire. Ward, vol. ii. p. 192.
10 His formal resignation of his office as Rector took place in 1858.
combining with the new translation a work of Apologetics under the name of 'Prolegomena,' especially designed to counteract the influence of the current Agnosticism."1
And now Newman, in his abiding anxiety to serve his day and generation, turned to other undertakings and started the short-lived Atlantis Magazine, his most important contribution to which was a masterly article entitled 'The Benedictine Centuries,' republished in vol. i. of his Historical Sketches. He founded the Oratory School-still one of the chief places of education for Catholic boys of the upper and upper-middle classes, and so an abiding memorial of him. He interested himself in the Rambler, and endeavoured, with no great success, to moderate the rash and ill-considered utterances of Mr. Capes in that periodical. He contributed to it himself occasionally, and one of his articles had results little foreseen by him. His thoughts,' Mr. Ward observes, were dwelling at this time on the shortsightedness and unwisdom of ignoring the important functions. often performed by the faithful laity in the history of the Church.' And so he was led to write his paper On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine.' There was in it an expression, a temporary cessation of the functions of the Ecclesia Docens,' which gave umbrage to certain divines, among them being Dr. Brown, Bishop of Newport and Menevia, who (as the phrase is) ' delated' the article to Rome. Newman defended himself to the satisfaction of the authorities there, and the matter dropped after a certain amount of theological dust had been raised. But the incident did him harm at Rome, and greatly discouraged him. He was overwhelmed with sadness when he thought how the years had passed with so little done, since he became a Catholic, while he was longing to devote the great powers and energies which he was conscious of possessing-how could he help such consciousness? -to the only cause which he deemed worth living for. To quote the sacred language which, as he has said, 'veils our feelings. while it gives expression to them, restrains and purifies while it sanctions them,12 he had become a stranger unto his brethren, even an alien unto his mother's children.' His fellow Catholics, indeed, were, for the most part, proud of him as a child of the Church, but few understood him, and fewer really sympathised
11 It is notable that in 1860 W. G. Ward, as we read in Mr. Wilfrid Ward's pages, wrote to Newman: The whole philosophical fabric which occupies our colleges is rotten from the floor to the roof. . . . It intellectually debauches the students' minds. What new difficulties are open at every step! I suppose the Church will have to develop quite a supplemental corpus of theology in reference to such questions as those touched in Essays and Reviews.' Vol. i. P. 473.
12 Sermons on Subjects of the Day, p. 408.
with him. His mission seemed at an end. His books had almost ceased to sell. There was a conspiracy of silence against him.13 He was, as he expressed it, ' put on the shelf.' He might have taken up Milton's lament:
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
'When I consider!' He did consider through five sad years. But to him, as to the Puritan poet, the consolatory thought
They also serve who only stand and wait.
At last the summons to action came, but not from Catholic authority. It came, appropriately enough, from a noted writer of fiction, Charles Kingsley, who was in the habit of applying the method followed in his novels to topics of history and theology. At Christmas 1863 he instructed the readers of Macmillan's Magazine: Truth, for its own sake, has never been a virtue with the Roman clergy and Father Newman informs us that it need not be, and on the whole ought not to be.' Newman, doubtless, knew of the existence of Macmillan's Magazine, but assuredly was not in the habit of perusing it: nay, probably, had never seen it and that these words came before him was due to an 'accident '-what we call 'accident': a friend, who had chanced to read them, brought them to his notice. He at once wrote to the publishers 'to draw their attention, as gentlemen, to a grave and gratuitous slander.' Kingsley himself replied to this letter, owning that he was the author of the article in which they occurred: explaining that he was led to think them true from many passages of Newman's writings, and especially from his sermon on Wisdom and Innocence,' and offering to retract publicly his accusation, if Newman would show that he had been wronged by it. This amalgam of disingenuousness and insolence did not content Newman. He insisted-and no one could gainsay him-that the words laid to his charge were not in the sermon on Wisdom and Innocence,' and demanded that Kingsley should either produce such words from his other writings, or that the charge should be withdrawn.
13 Mr. G. Elliot Ranken, at that time the editor of the Tablet, told me that the mot d'ordre was: Mention him as little as possible; but when you do mention him, let it be with all respect.'
Kingsley was, of course, unable to produce them, but would not own it. He would do no more than express hearty regret at having been so seriously mistaken. This was the beginning of the famous controversy resulting in the Apologia, published, originally, in weekly numbers, which-it is not too much to saytook England by storm. English literature is a debtor to Kingsley for an unrivalled masterpiece. Newman was Kingsley's debtor for a sort of resurrection. It afforded him the opportunity of giving the true key to his whole life. To produce it was a task infinitely distasteful to his delicate and sensitive nature. He wrote to Keble: 'When you see part of my publication, you will wonder how I could ever get myself to write it. Well, I could not except under some great stimulus. I do not think I could write it if I delayed a month. And yet I have for years wished to write it as a duty.' And to Mr. Copeland: 'It is an egotistical matter from beginning to end. In writing I kept bursting into tears.' The Apologia, writes Father Ryder,' was a great crisis in Father Newman's life. It won him the heart of the country, which he has never lost since.' That is true: but-and for this I think Newman cared even more-it specially won for him the heart of the Catholic clergy. The conspiracy of silence which had been formed against him was broken. Praise unstinted came from ecclesiastical authority-especially from his large-hearted and much-loved Bishop, Dr. Ullathorne. A tumult of acclaim arose from his brethren in the priesthood throughout the land. Gratitude and confidence took the place of suspicion in their ranks. I cannot find, I may note, that any word of sympathy reached him from Manning, who appears to have spoken slightingly of the matter as 'this Kingsley affair.' 14 As for Kingsley himself, Newman wrote in 1875: 'I never from the first have felt any anger towards him. He was accidentally the instrument, in the good providence of God, by whom I had an opportunity given me, which otherwise I should not have had, of vindicating my character and conduct in the Apologia. I have always hoped that by good luck I might meet him, feeling sure that there would be no embarrassment on my part and I said Mass for his soul as soon as I heard of his death.'
With the Kingsley controversy, as Mr. Wilfrid Ward says, the loss of influence which had so deeply depressed Newman, the sense that he was speaking to deaf or inattentive ears, passed for ever. And this, as he states in his journal, put him in spirits' to look out for fresh work. He had from the first thought that something should be done to raise the intellectual standard of the
14 Purcell's Life of Cardinal Manning, vol. ii. p. 206.
English Catholic laity. So long ago as 1851, he had expressed this desire in words which are worth quoting:
I want a laity not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it: I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity. In all times the laity has been the measure of the Catholic spirit."
In 1864 he was led to look to Oxford as opening possibilities for work in this direction. The old religious restrictions-the tests by which Catholics had for long been excluded-were removed. And might not the anticipation expressed by Cardinal Wiseman, of their return thither to compete on equal terms with their fellow countrymen, now be realised? He consulted with Bishop Ullathorne about the matter. The Bishop offered the Birmingham Oratorians the Oxford Mission. For a few months, there seemed to be a prospect of the success of this plan. But silently a strong opposition was growing up against it. Manning, Ward and Vaughan 16 may be mentioned as leaders of that opposition in England. In Rome it was strenuously fostered by Mgr. Talbot, whose influence with Pius the Ninth was very great. 'What is the province of the laity?' that Prelate wrote to Archbishop Manning: To hunt, to shoot, to entertain these matters they understand.' And to such matters Mgr. Talbot would have had them confine themselves. He did not desire for them intellectual culture, and pronounced Dr. Newman the most dangerous man in England.' 17 It was the battle of the laity that Newman was fighting in this Oxford Controversy, and the laity felt it. An attack upon him by a Mr. Martin-a newspaper correspondentgave rise to a very remarkable Address signed by upwards of two hundred of the most prominent English Catholic gentlemen, which contains the emphatic words, ' We feel that every blow that touches you, inflicts a wound upon the Catholic Church in this country.' 18 Yes: the laity felt that in this Oxford question Dr. Newman was fighting their battle: and, in the event, the battle was won, although Newman did not live to see it. Manning -now Archbishop-did not enjoy this Address. He saw in it 'a revelation of the absence of Catholic instinct and the presence
15 The Present Position of the Catholics, p. 392.
1 They were taken at Rome to represent English Catholic opinion, without, as Newman thought, any just warrant, and so he was led to call them, jestingly, 'the three tailors of Tooley Street.'
17 Ward, vol. ii. p. 146.
18 Ibid. vol. ii. p. 143.