The Oxford Movement
R.W. Church

Part 5 out of 6

work on Baptism, preached on the Holy Eucharist as a comfort to the
penitent. He spoke of it as a disciple of Andrewes and Bramhall would
speak of it; it was a high Anglican sermon, full, after the example of
the Homilies, Jeremy Taylor, and devotional writers like George Herbert
and Bishop Ken, of the fervid language of the Fathers; and that was all.
Beyond this it did not go; its phraseology was strictly within Anglican
limits. In the course of the week that followed, the University was
surprised by the announcement that Dr. Faussett, the Margaret Professor
of Divinity, had "_delated_" the sermon to the Vice-Chancellor as
teaching heresy; and even more surprised at the news that the
Vice-Chancellor had commenced proceedings. The Statutes provided that
when a sermon was complained of, or _delated_ to the Vice-Chancellor,
the Vice-Chancellor should demand a copy of the sermon, and summoning to
him as his assessors Six Doctors of Divinity, should examine the
language complained of, and, if necessary, condemn and punish the
preacher. The Statute is thus drawn up in general terms, and prescribes
nothing as to the mode in which the examination into the alleged offence
is to be carried on; that is, it leaves it to the Vice-Chancellor's
discretion. What happened was this. The sermon was asked for, but the
name of the accuser was not given; the Statute did not enjoin it. The
sermon was sent, with a request from Dr. Pusey that he might have a
hearing. The Six Doctors were appointed, five of them being Dr. Hawkins,
Dr. Symons, Dr. Jenkyns, Dr. Ogilvie, Dr. Jelf; the Statute said the
Regius Professor was, if possible, to be one of the number; as he was
under the ban of a special Statute, he was spared the task, and his
place was taken by the next Divinity Professor, Dr. Faussett, the person
who had preferred the charge, and who was thus, from having been
accuser, promoted to be a judge. To Dr. Pusey's request for a hearing,
no answer was returned; the Statute, no doubt, said nothing of a
hearing. But after the deliberations of the judges were concluded, and
after the decision to condemn the sermon had been reached, one of them,
Dr. Pusey's old friend, Dr. Jelf, was privately charged with certain
communications from the Vice-Chancellor, on which the seal of absolute
secrecy was imposed, and which, in fact, we believe, have never been
divulged from that _day_ to this. Whatever passed between the
Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Jelf, and Dr. Pusey, it had no effect in arresting
the sentence; and it came out, in informal ways, and through Dr. Pusey
himself, that on the 2d of June Dr. Pusey had been accused and condemned
for having taught doctrine contrary to that of the Church of England,
and that by the authority of the Vice-Chancellor he was suspended from
preaching within the University for two years. But no formal
notification of the transaction was ever made to the University.

The summary suppression of erroneous and dangerous teaching had long
been a recognised part of the University discipline; and with the ideas
then accepted of the religious character of the University, it was
natural that some such power as that given in the Statutes should be
provided. The power, even after all the changes in Oxford, exists still,
and has been recently appealed to. Dr. Pusey, as a member of the
University, had no more right than any other preacher to complain of his
doctrine being thus solemnly called in question. But it is strange that
it should not have occurred to the authorities that, under the
conditions of modern times, and against a man like Dr. Pusey, such power
should be warily used. For it was not only arbitrary power, such as was
exerted in the condemnation of No. 90, but it was arbitrary power acting
under the semblance of a judicial inquiry, with accusers, examination,
trial, judges, and a heavy penalty. The act of a court of justice which
sets at defiance the rules of justice is a very different thing from a
straightforward act of arbitrary power, because it pretends to be what
it is not. The information against Dr. Pusey, if accepted, involved a
trial--that was the fixed condition and point of departure from which
there was no escaping--and if a trial be held, then, if it be not a fair
trial, the proceeding becomes, according to English notions, a flagrant
and cowardly wrong. All this, all the intrinsic injustice, all the
scandal and discredit in the eyes of honest men, was forgotten in the
obstinate and blind confidence in the letter of a vague Statute. The
accused was not allowed to defend or explain himself; he was refused the
knowledge of the definite charges against him; he was refused, in spite
of his earnest entreaties, a hearing, even an appearance in the presence
of his judges. The Statute, it was said, enjoined none of these things.
The name of his accuser was not told him; he was left to learn it by
report To the end of the business all was wrought in secrecy; no one
knows to this day how the examination of the sermon was conducted, or
what were the opinions of the judges. The Statute, it was said, neither
enjoined nor implied publicity. To this day no one knows what were the
definite passages, what was the express or necessarily involved heresy
or contradiction of the formularies, on which the condemnation was
based; nor--except on the supposition of gross ignorance of English
divinity on the part of the judges--is it easy for a reader to put his
finger on the probably incriminated passages. To make the proceedings
still more unlike ordinary public justice, informal and private
communications were carried on between the judge and the accused, in
which the accused was bound to absolute silence, and forbidden to
consult his nearest friends.

And of the judges what can be said but that they were, with one
exception, the foremost and sternest opponents of all that was
identified with Dr. Pusey's name; and that one of them was the colleague
who had volunteered to accuse him? Dr. Faussett's share in the matter is
intelligible; hating the movement in all its parts, he struck with the
vehemence of a mediaeval zealot. But that men like Dr. Hawkins and Dr.
Ogilvie, one of them reputed to be a theologian, the other one of the
shrewdest and most cautious of men, and in ordinary matters one of the
most conscientious and fairest, should not have seen what justice, or at
least the show of justice, demanded, and what the refusal of that demand
would look like, and that they should have persuaded the Vice-Chancellor
to accept the entire responsibility of haughtily refusing it, is, even
to those who remember the excitement of those days, a subject of wonder.
The plea was actually put forth that such opportunities of defence of
his language and teaching as Dr. Pusey asked for would have led to the
"inconvenience" of an interminable debate, and confronting of texts and
authorities.[106] The fact, with Dr. Pusey as the accused person, is
likely enough; but in a criminal charge with a heavy penalty, it would
have been better for the reputation of the judges to have submitted to
the inconvenience.

It was a great injustice and a great blunder--a blunder, because the
gratuitous defiance of accepted rules of fairness neutralised whatever
there might seem to be of boldness and strength in the blow. They were
afraid to meet Dr. Pusey face to face. They were afraid to publish the
reasons of their condemnation. The effect on the University, both on
resident and non-resident members, was not to be misunderstood. The
Protestantism of the Vice-Chancellor and the Six Doctors was, of course,
extolled by partisans in the press with reckless ignorance and reckless
contempt at once for common justice and their own consistency. One
person of some distinction at Oxford ventured to make himself the
mouthpiece of those who were bold enough to defend the proceeding--the
recently-elected Professor of Poetry, Mr. Garbett. But deep offence was
given among the wiser and more reasonable men who had a regard for the
character of the University. A request to know the grounds of the
sentence from men who were certainly of no party was curtly refused by
the Vice-Chancellor, with a suggestion that it did not concern them. A
more important memorial was sent from London, showing how persons at a
distance were shocked by the unaccountable indifference to the
appearance of justice in the proceeding. It was signed among others by
Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Justice Coleridge. The Vice-Chancellor lost his
temper. He sent back the memorial to London "by the hands of his bedel,"
as if that in some way stamped his official disapprobation more than if
it had been returned through the post. And he proceeded, in language
wonderful even for that moment, as "Resident Governor" of the
University, to reprimand statesmen and lawyers of eminence and high
character, not merely for presuming to interfere with his own duties,
but for forgetting the oaths on the strength of which they had received
their degrees, and for coming very near to that high, almost highest,
academical crime, the crime of being _perturbatores pacis_--breaking the
peace of the University.

Such foolishness, affecting dignity, only made more to talk of. If the
men who ruled the University had wished to disgust and alienate the
Masters of Arts, and especially the younger ones who were coming forward
into power and influence, they could not have done better. The chronic
jealousy and distrust of the time were deepened. And all this was
aggravated by what went on in private. A system of espionage,
whisperings, backbitings, and miserable tittle-tattle, sometimes of the
most slanderous or the most ridiculous kind, was set going all over
Oxford. Never in Oxford, before or since, were busybodies more truculent
or more unscrupulous. Difficulties arose between Heads of Colleges and
their tutors. Candidates for fellowships were closely examined as to
their opinions and their associates. Men applying for testimonials were
cross-questioned on No. 90, as to the infallibility of general councils,
purgatory, the worship of images, the _Ora pro nobis_ and the
intercession of the saints: the real critical questions upon which men's
minds were working being absolutely uncomprehended and ignored. It was a
miserable state of misunderstanding and distrust, and none of the
University leaders had the temper and the manliness to endeavour with
justice and knowledge to get to the bottom of it. It was enough to
suppose that a Popish Conspiracy was being carried on.


[101] Pp. 243, 253.

[102] Garbett, 921. Williams, 623.

[103] The numbers were 334 to 219.

[104] _Christian Remembrancer_, vol. ix. p. 175.

[105] Ibid. pp. 177-179.

[106] Cf. _British Critic_, No. xlvii. pp. 221-223.



If only the Oxford authorities could have had patience--if only they
could have known more largely and more truly the deep changes that were
at work everywhere, and how things were beginning to look in the eyes of
the generation that was coming, perhaps many things might have been
different. Yes, it was true that there was a strong current setting
towards Rome. It was acting on some of the most vigorous of the younger
men. It was acting powerfully on the foremost mind in Oxford. Whither,
if not arrested, it was carrying them was clear, but as yet it was by no
means clear at what rate; and time, and thought, and being left alone
and dealt with justly, have a great effect on men's minds. Extravagance,
disproportion, mischievous, dangerous exaggeration, in much that was
said and taught--all this might have settled down, as so many things are
in the habit of settling down, into reasonable and practical shapes,
after a first burst of crudeness and strain--as, in fact, it _did_
settle down at last. For Anglicanism itself was not Roman; friends and
foes said it was not, to reproach as well as to defend it. It was not
Roman in Dr. Pusey, though he was not afraid to acknowledge what was
good in Rome. It was not Roman in Mr. Keble and his friends, in Dr.
Moberly of Winchester, and the Barters. It was not Roman in Mr. Isaac
Williams, Mr. Copeland, and Mr. Woodgate, each of them a centre of
influence in Oxford and the country. It was not Roman in the devoted
Charles Marriott, or in Isaac Williams's able and learned pupil, Mr.
Arthur Haddan. It was not Roman in Mr. James Mozley, after Mr. Newman,
the most forcible and impressive of the Oxford writers. A distinctively
English party grew up, both in Oxford and away from it, strong in
eminent names, in proportion as Roman sympathies showed themselves.
These men were, in any fair judgment, as free from Romanising as any of
their accusers; but they made their appeal for patience and fair
judgment in vain. If only the rulers could have had patience:--but
patience is a difficult virtue in the presence of what seem pressing
dangers. Their policy was wrong, stupid, unjust, pernicious. It was a
deplorable mistake, and all will wish now that the discredit of it did
not rest on the history of Oxford. And yet it was the mistake of upright
and conscientious men.

Doubtless there was danger; the danger was that a number of men would
certainly not acquiesce much longer in Anglicanism, while the Heads
continued absolutely blind to what was really in these men's thoughts.
For the Heads could not conceive the attraction which the Roman Church
had for a religious man; they talked in the old-fashioned way about the
absurdity of the Roman system. They could not understand how reasonable
men could turn Roman Catholics. They accounted for it by supposing a
silly hankering after the pomp or the frippery of Roman Catholic
worship, and at best a craving after the romantic and sentimental. Their
thoughts dwelt continually on image worship and the adoration of saints.
But what really was astir was something much deeper--something much more
akin to the new and strong forces which were beginning to act in very
different directions from this in English society--forces which were not
only leading minds to Rome, but making men Utilitarians, Rationalists,
Positivists, and, though the word had not yet been coined, Agnostics.
The men who doubted about the English Church saw in Rome a strong,
logical, consistent theory of religion, not of yesterday nor to-day--not
only comprehensive and profound, but actually in full work, and fruitful
in great results; and this, in contrast to the alleged and undeniable
anomalies and shortcomings of Protestantism and Anglicanism. And next,
there was the immense amount which they saw in Rome of self-denial and
self-devotion; the surrender of home and family in the clergy; the great
organised ministry of women in works of mercy; the resolute abandonment
of the world and its attractions in the religious life. If in England
there flourished the homely and modest types of goodness, it was in Rome
that, at that day at least, men must look for the heroic. They were not
indisposed to the idea that a true Church which had lost all this might
yet regain it, and they were willing to wait and see what the English
Church would do to recover what it had lost; but there was obviously a
long way to make up, and they came to think that there was no chance of
its overtaking its true position. Of course they knew all that was so
loudly urged about the abuses and mischiefs growing out of the professed
severity of Rome. They knew that in spite of it foreign society was lax;
that the discipline of the confessional was often exercised with a light
rein. But if the good side of it was real, they easily accounted for the
bad: the bad did not destroy, it was a tacit witness to the good. And
they knew the Latin Church mainly from France, where it was more in
earnest, and exhibited more moral life and intellectual activity, than,
as far as Englishmen knew, in Italy or Spain. There was a strong rebound
from insular ignorance and unfairness, when English travellers came on
the poorly-paid but often intelligent and hard-working French clergy; on
the great works of mercy in the towns; on the originality and eloquence
of De Maistre, La Mennais, Lacordaire, Montalembert.

These ideas took possession of a remarkable mind, the index and organ of
a remarkable character. Mr. W.G. Ward had learned the interest of
earnest religion from Dr. Arnold, in part through his close friend
Arthur Stanley. But if there was ever any tendency in him to combine
with the peculiar elements of the Rugby School, it was interrupted in
its _nascent_ state, as chemists speak, by the intervention of a still
more potent affinity, the personality of Mr. Newman. Mr. Ward had
developed in the Oxford Union, and in a wide social circle of the most
rising men of the time--including Tait, Cardwell, Lowe, Roundell
Palmer--a very unusual dialectical skill and power of argumentative
statement: qualities which seemed to point to the House of Commons. But
Mr. Newman's ideas gave him material, not only for argument but for
thought. The lectures and sermons at St. Mary's subdued and led him
captive. The impression produced on him was expressed in the formula
that primitive Christianity might have been corrupted into Popery, but
that Protestantism never could.[107] For a moment he hung in the wind.
He might have been one of the earliest of Broad Churchmen. He might have
been a Utilitarian and Necessitarian follower of Mr. J.S. Mill. But
moral influences of a higher kind prevailed. And he became, in the most
thoroughgoing yet independent fashion, a disciple of Mr. Newman. He
brought to his new side a fresh power of controversial writing; but his
chief influence was a social one, from his bright and attractive
conversation, his bold and startling candour, his frank, not to say
reckless, fearlessness of consequences, his unrivalled skill in logical
fence, his unfailing good-humour and love of fun, in which his personal
clumsiness set off the vivacity and nimbleness of his joyous moods. "He
was," says Mr. Mozley, "a great musical critic, knew all the operas, and
was an admirable buffo singer."--No one could doubt that, having
started, Mr. Ward would go far and probably go fast.

Mr. Ward was well known in Oxford, and his language might have warned
the Heads that if there was a drift towards Rome, it came from something
much more serious than a hankering after a sentimental ritual or
mediaeval legends. In Mr. Ward's writings in the _British Critic_, as in
his conversation--and he wrote much and at great length--three ideas
were manifestly at the bottom of his attraction to Rome. One was that
Rome did, and, he believed, nothing else did, keep up the continuous
recognition of the supernatural element in religion, that consciousness
of an ever-present power not of this world which is so prominent a
feature in the New Testament, and which is spoken of there as a
permanent and characteristic element in the Gospel dispensation. The
Roman view of the nature and offices of the Church, of man's relations
to the unseen world, of devotion, of the Eucharist and of the Sacraments
in general, assumed and put forward this supernatural aspect; other
systems ignored it or made it mean nothing, unless in secret to the
individual and converted soul. In the next place he revolted--no weaker
word can be used--from the popular exhibition in England, more or less
Lutheran and Calvinistic, of the doctrine of justification. The
ostentatious separation of justification from morality, with all its
theological refinements and fictions, seemed to him profoundly
unscriptural, profoundly unreal and hollow, or else profoundly immoral.
In conscience and moral honesty and strict obedience he saw the only
safe and trustworthy guidance in regard to the choice and formation of
religious opinions; it was a principle on which all his philosophy was
built, that "careful and individual moral discipline is the only
possible basis on which Christian faith and practice can be reared." In
the third place he was greatly affected, not merely by the paramount
place of sanctity in the Roman theology and the professed Roman system,
but by the standard of saintliness which he found there, involving
complete and heroic self-sacrifice for great religious ends, complete
abandonment of the world, painful and continuous self-discipline,
purified and exalted religious affections, beside which English piety
and goodness at its best, in such examples as George Herbert and Ken and
Bishop Wilson, seemed unambitious and pale and tame, of a different
order from the Roman, and less closely resembling what we read of in the
first ages and in the New Testament. Whether such views were right or
wrong, exaggerated or unbalanced, accurate or superficial, they were
matters fit to interest grave men; but there is no reason to think that
they made the slightest impression on the authorities of the University.

On the other hand, Mr. Ward, with the greatest good-humour, was
unreservedly defiant and aggressive. There was something intolerably
provoking in his mixture of jauntiness and seriousness, his avowal of
utter personal unworthiness and his undoubting certainty of being in the
right, his downright charges of heresy and his ungrudging readiness to
make allowance for the heretics and give them credit for special virtues
greater than those of the orthodox. He was not a person to hide his own
views or to let others hide theirs. He lived in an atmosphere of
discussion with all around him, friends or opponents, fellows and tutors
in common-rooms, undergraduates after lecture or out walking. The most
amusing, the most tolerant man in Oxford, he had round him perpetually
some of the cleverest and brightest scholars and thinkers of the place;
and where he was, there was debate, cross-questioning, pushing
inferences, starting alarming problems, beating out ideas, trying the
stuff and mettle of mental capacity. Not always with real knowledge, or
a real sense of fact, but always rapid and impetuous, taking in the
whole dialectical chess-board at a glance, he gave no quarter, and a man
found himself in a perilous corner before he perceived the drift of the
game; but it was to clear his own thought, not--for he was much too
good-natured--to embarrass another. If the old scholastic disputations
had been still in use at Oxford, his triumphs would have been signal and
memorable. His success, compared with that of other leaders of the
movement, in influencing life and judgment, was a pre-eminently
intellectual success; and it cut two ways. The stress which he laid on
the moral side of questions, his own generosity, his earnestness on
behalf of fair play and good faith, elevated and purified intercourse.
But he did not always win assent in proportion to his power of argument.
Abstract reasoning, in matters with which human action is concerned, may
be too absolute to be convincing. It may not leave sufficient margin for
the play and interference of actual experience. And Mr. Ward, having
perfect confidence in his conclusions, rather liked to leave them in a
startling form, which he innocently declared to be manifest and
inevitable. And so stories of Ward's audacity and paradoxes flew all
over Oxford, shocking and perplexing grave heads with fear of they knew
not what. Dr. Jenkyns, the Master of Balliol, one of those curious
mixtures of pompous absurdity with genuine shrewdness which used to pass
across the University stage, not clever himself but an unfailing judge
of a clever man, as a jockey might be of a horse, liking Ward and proud
of him for his cleverness, was aghast at his monstrous and
unintelligible language, and driven half wild with it. Mr. Tait, a
fellow-tutor, though living on terms of hearty friendship with Ward,
prevailed on the Master after No. 90 to dismiss Ward from the office of
teaching mathematics. It seemed a petty step thus to mix up theology
with mathematics, though it was not so absurd as it looked, for Ward
brought in theology everywhere, and discussed it when his mathematics
were done. But Ward accepted it frankly and defended it. It was natural,
he said, that Tait, thinking his principles mischievous, should wish to
silence him as a teacher; and their friendship remained unbroken.

Mr. Ward's theological position was really a provisional one, though, at
starting at least, he would not have allowed it. He had no early or
traditional attachment to the English Church, such as that which acted
so strongly on the leaders of the movement: but he found himself a
member of it, and Mr. Newman had interpreted it to him. He so accepted
it, quite loyally and in earnest, as a point of departure. But he
proceeded at once to put "our Church" (as he called it) on its trial, in
comparison with its own professions, and with the ideal standard of a
Church which he had thought out for himself; and this rapidly led to
grave consequences. He accepted from authority which satisfied him both
intellectually and morally the main scheme of Catholic theology, as the
deepest and truest philosophy of religion, satisfying at once conscience
and intellect. The Catholic theology gave him, among other things, the
idea and the notes of the Church; with these, in part at least, the
English Church agreed; but in other respects, and these very serious
ones, it differed widely; it seemed inconsistent and anomalous. The
English Church was separate and isolated from Christendom. It was
supposed to differ widely from other Churches in doctrine. It admitted
variety of opinion and teaching, even to the point of tolerating alleged
heresy. With such data as these, he entered on an investigation which
ultimately came to the question whether the English Church could claim
to be a part of the Church Catholic. He postulated from the first, what
he afterwards developed in the book in which his Anglican position
culminated,--the famous _Ideal_,--the existence at some time or another
of a Catholic Church which not only aimed at, but fulfilled all the
conditions of a perfect Church in creed, communion, discipline, and
life. Of course the English and, as at starting he held, the Roman
Church, fell far short of this perfection. But at starting, the moral
which he drew was, not to leave the English Church, but to do his best
to raise it up to what it ought to be. Whether he took in all the
conditions of the problem, whether it was not far more complicated and
difficult than he supposed, whether his knowledge of the facts of the
case was accurate and adequate, whether he was always fair in his
comparisons and judgments, and whether he did not overlook elements of
the gravest importance in the inquiry; whether, in fact, save for
certain strong and broad lines common to the whole historic Church, the
reign of anomaly, inconsistency, difficulty did not extend much farther
over the whole field of debate than he chose to admit: all this is
fairly open to question. But within the limits which he laid down, and
within which he confined his reasonings, he used his materials with
skill and force; and even those who least agreed with him and were most
sensible of the strong and hardly disguised bias which so greatly
affected the value of his judgments, could not deny the frankness and
the desire to be fair and candid, with which, as far as intention went,
he conducted his argument. His first appearance as a writer was in the
controversy, as has been said before, on the subject of No. 90. That
tract had made the well-worn distinction between what was Catholic and
what was distinctively Roman, and had urged--what had been urged over
and over again by English divines--that the Articles, in their
condemnation of what was Roman, were drawn in such a way as to leave
untouched what was unquestionably Catholic. They were drawn indeed by
Protestants, but by men who also earnestly professed to hold with the
old Catholic doctors and disavowed any purpose to depart from their
teaching, and who further had to meet the views and gain the assent of
men who were much less Protestant than themselves--men who were willing
to break with the Pope and condemn the abuses associated with his name,
but by no means willing to break with the old theology. The Articles
were the natural result of a compromise between two strong parties--the
Catholics agreeing that the abuses should be condemned, so that the
Catholic doctrine was not touched; the Protestants insisting that, so
that the Catholic doctrine was not touched, the abuses of it should be
denounced with great severity: that there should be no question about
the condemnation of the abuses, and of the system which had maintained
them. The Articles were undoubtedly anti-Roman; that was obvious from
the historical position of the English Church, which in a very real
sense was anti-Roman; but were they so anti-Roman as to exclude
doctrines which English divines had over and over again maintained as
Catholic and distinguished from Romanism, but which the popular opinion,
at this time or that, identified therewith?[108] With flagrant
ignorance--ignorance of the history of thought and teaching in the
English Church, ignorance far more inexcusable of the state of parties
and their several notorious difficulties in relation to the various
formularies of the Church, it was maintained on the other side that the
"Articles construed by themselves" left no doubt that they were not only
anti-Roman but anti-Catholic, and that nothing but the grossest
dishonesty and immorality could allow any doubt on the subject.

Neither estimate was logical enough to satisfy Mr. Ward. The charge of
insincerity, he retorted with great effect on those who made it: if
words meant anything, the Ordination Service, the Visitation Service,
and the Baptismal Service were far greater difficulties to Evangelicals,
and to Latitudinarians like Whately and Hampden, than the words of any
Article could be to Catholics; and there was besides the tone of the
whole Prayer Book, intelligible, congenial, on Catholic assumptions, and
on no other. But as to the Articles themselves, he was indisposed to
accept the defence made for them. He criticised indeed with acuteness
and severity the attempt to make the loose language of many of them
intolerant of primitive doctrine; but he frankly accepted the allegation
that apart from this or that explanation, their general look, as regards
later controversies, was visibly against, not only Roman doctrines or
Roman abuses, but that whole system of principles and mode of viewing
religion which he called Catholic. They were, he said, _patient_ of a
Catholic meaning, but _ambitious_ of a Protestant meaning; whatever
their logic was, their rhetoric was Protestant. It was just possible,
but not more, for a Catholic to subscribe to them. But they were the
creation and the legacy of a bad age, and though they had not
extinguished Catholic teaching and Catholic belief in the English
Church, they had been a serious hindrance to it, and a support to its

This was going beyond the position of No. 90. No. 90 had made light of
the difficulties of the Articles.

That there are real difficulties to a Catholic Christian in the
ecclesiastical position of our Church at this day, no one can deny; but
the statements of the Articles are not in the number. Our present scope
is merely to show that, while our Prayer Book is acknowledged on all
hands to be of Catholic origin, our Articles also--the offspring of an
uncatholic age--are, through God's good providence, to say the least,
not uncatholic, and may be subscribed by those who aim at being Catholic
in heart and doctrine.

Mr. Ward not only went beyond this position, but in the teeth of these
statements; and he gave a new aspect and new issues to the whole
controversy. The Articles, to him, were a difficulty, which they were
not to the writer of No. 90, or to Dr. Pusey, or to Mr. Keble. To him
they were not only the "offspring of an uncatholic age," but in
themselves uncatholic; and his answer to the charge of dishonest
subscription was, not that the Articles "in their natural meaning are
Catholic,"[109] but that the system of the English Church is a
compromise between what is Catholic and what is Protestant, and that
the Protestant parties in it are involved in even greater difficulties,
in relation to subscription and use of its formularies, than the
Catholic. He admitted that he _did_ evade the spirit, but accepted the
"statements of the Articles," maintaining that this was the intention of
their original sanctioners. With characteristic boldness, inventing a
phrase which has become famous, he wrote: "Our twelfth Article is as
plain as words can make it on the Evangelical side; of course I think
its natural meaning may be explained away, for I subscribe it myself in
a non-natural sense":[110] but he showed that Evangelicals, high church
Anglicans, and Latitudinarians were equally obliged to have recourse to
explanations, which to all but themselves were unsatisfactory.

But he went a step beyond this. Hitherto the distinction had been
uniformly insisted upon between what was Catholic and what was Roman;
between what was witnessed to by the primitive and the undivided Church,
and what had been developed beyond that in the Schools, and by the
definitions and decisions of Rome, and in the enormous mass of its
post-Reformation theology, at once so comprehensive, and so minute in
application. This distinction was the foundation of what was,
characteristically, Anglican theology, from Hooker downwards. This
distinction, at least for all important purposes, Mr. Ward gradually
gave up. It was to a certain degree recognised in his early controversy
about No. 90; but it gradually grew fainter till at last it avowedly
disappeared. The Anglican writers had drawn their ideas and their
inspiration from the Fathers; the Fathers lived long ago, and the
teaching drawn from them, however spiritual and lofty, wanted the modern
look, and seemed to recognise insufficiently modern needs. The Roman
applications of the same principles were definite and practical, and Mr.
Ward's mind, essentially one of his own century, and little alive to
what touched more imaginative and sensitive minds, turned at once to
Roman sources for the interpretation of what was Catholic. In the
_British Critic_, and still more in the remarkable volume in which his
Oxford controversies culminated, the substitution of _Roman_ for the old
conception of _Catholic_ appears, and the absolute identification of
Roman with Catholic. Roman authorities become more and more the measure
and rule of what is Catholic. They belong to the present in a way in
which the older fountains of teaching do not; in the recognised teaching
of the Latin Church, they have taken their place and superseded them.

It was characteristic of Mr. Ward that his chief quarrel with the
Articles was not about the Sacraments, not about their language on
alleged Roman errors, but about the doctrine of grace, the relation of
the soul of man to the law, the forgiveness, the holiness of God,--the
doctrine, that is, in all its bearings, of justification. Mr. Newman had
examined this doctrine and the various language held about it with great
care, very firmly but very temperately, and had attempted to reconcile
with each other all but the extreme Lutheran statements. It was, he
said, among really religious men, a question of words. He had recognised
the faulty state of things in the pre-Reformation Church, the faulty
ideas about forgiveness, merit, grace, and works, from which the
Protestant language was a reaction, natural, if often excessive; and in
the English authoritative form of this language, he had found nothing
but what was perfectly capable of a sound and true meaning. From the
first, Mr. Ward's judgment was far more severe than this. To him, the
whole structure of the Articles on Justification and the doctrines
connected with it seemed based on the Lutheran theory, and for this
theory, as fundamentally and hopelessly immoral, he could not find words
sufficiently expressive of detestation and loathing. For the basis of
his own theory of religious knowledge was a moral basis; men came to the
knowledge of religious truth primarily not by the intellect, but by
absolute and unfailing loyalty to conscience and moral light; and a
doctrine which separated faith from morality and holiness, which made
man's highest good and his acceptance with God independent of what he
was as a moral agent, which relegated the realities of moral discipline
and goodness to a secondary and subordinate place,--as a mere sequel to
follow, almost mechanically and of course, on an act or feeling which
had nothing moral in it,--which substituted a fictitious and imputed
righteousness for an inherent and infused and real one, seemed to him
to confound the eternal foundations of right and wrong, and to be a
blasphemy against all that was true and sacred in religion.

Of the Lutheran doctrine[111] of justification, and the principle of
private judgment, I have argued that, in their abstract nature and
necessary tendency, they sink below atheism itself.... A religious
person who shall be sufficiently clear-headed to understand the meaning
of words, is warranted in rejecting Lutheranism on the very same grounds
which would induce him to reject atheism, viz. as being the
contradiction of truths which he feels on most certain grounds to be
first principles.[112]

There is nothing which he looks back on with so much satisfaction in his
writings as on this, that he has "ventured to characterise that hateful
and fearful type of Antichrist in terms not wholly inadequate to its
prodigious demerits."[113]

Mr. Ward had started with a very definite idea of the Church and of its
notes and tests. It was obvious that the Anglican Church--and so, it was
thought, the Roman--failed to satisfy these notes in their
completeness; but it seemed, at least at first, to satisfy some of them,
and to do this so remarkably, and in such strong contrast to other
religious bodies, that in England at all events it seemed the true
representative and branch of the Church Catholic; and the duty of
adhering to it and serving it was fully recognised, even by those who
most felt its apparent departure from the more Catholic principles and
temper preserved in many points by the Roman Church. From this point of
view Mr. Ward avowedly began. But the position gradually gave way before
his relentless and dissolving logic. The whole course of his writing in
the _British Critic_ may be said to have consisted in a prolonged and
disparaging comparison of the English Church, in theory, in doctrine, in
moral and devotional temper, in discipline of character, in education,
in its public and authoritative tone in regard to social, political, and
moral questions, and in the type and standard of its clergy, with those
of the Catholic Church, which to him was represented by the mediaeval
and later Roman Church. And in the general result, and in all important
matters, the comparison became more and more fatally disadvantageous to
the English Church. In the perplexing condition of Christendom, it had
just enough good and promise to justify those who had been brought up in
it remaining where they were, as long as they saw any prospect of
improving it, and till they were driven out. That was a
duty--uncomfortable and thankless as it was, and open to any amount of
misconstruction and misrepresentation--which they owed to their
brethren, and to the Lord of the Church. But it involved plain speaking
and its consequences; and Mr. Ward never shrank from either.

Most people, looking back, would probably agree, whatever their general
judgment on these matters, and whatever they may think of Mr. Ward's
case, that he was, at the time at least, the most unpersuasive of
writers. Considering his great acuteness, and the frequent originality
of his remarks--considering, further, his moral earnestness, and the
place which the moral aspects of things occupy in his thoughts, this is
remarkable; but so it is. In the first place, in dealing with these
eventful questions, which came home with such awful force to thousands
of awakened minds and consciences, full of hope and full of fear, there
was an entire and ostentatious want of sympathy with all that was
characteristically English in matters of religion. This arose partly
from his deep dislike to habits, very marked in Englishmen, but not
peculiar to them, of self-satisfaction and national self-glorification;
but it drove him into a welcoming of opposite foreign ways, of which he
really knew little, except superficially. Next, his boundless confidence
in the accuracy of his logical processes led him to habits of extreme
and absolute statement, which to those who did not agree with him, and
also to some who did, bore on their face the character of
over-statement, exaggeration, extravagance, not redeemed by an
occasional and somewhat ostentatious candour, often at the expense of
his own side and in favour of opponents to whom he could afford to be
frank. And further, while to the English Church he was merciless in the
searching severity of his judgment, he seemed to be blind to the whole
condition of things to which she, as well as her rival, had for the last
three centuries been subjected, and in which she had played a part at
least as important for Christian faith as that sustained by any portion
of Christendom; blind to all her special and characteristic excellences,
where these did not fit the pattern of the continental types (obviously,
in countless instances, matters of national and local character and
habits); blind to the enormous difficulties in which the political game
of her Roman opponents had placed her; blind to the fact that, judged
with the same adverse bias and prepossessions, the same unsparing
rigour, the same refusal to give real weight to what was good, on the
ground that it was mixed with something lower, the Roman Church would
show just as much deflection from the ideal as the English. Indeed, he
would have done a great service--people would have been far more
disposed to attend to his really interesting, and, to English readers,
novel, proofs of the moral and devotional character of the Roman popular
discipline, if he had not been so unfair on the English: if he had not
ignored the plain fact that just such a picture as he gave of the
English Church, as failing in required notes, might be found of the
Roman before the Reformation, say in the writings of Gerson, and in our
own days in those of Rosmini. Mr. Ward, if any one, appealed to fair
judgment; and to this fair judgment he presented allegations on the face
of them violent and monstrous. The English Church, according to him, was
in the anomalous position of being "gifted with the power of dispensing
sacramental grace,"[114] and yet, at the same time, "_wholly destitute_
of external notes, and _wholly indefensible_ as to her position, by
external, historical, ecclesiastical arguments": and he for his part
declares, correcting Mr. Newman, who speaks of "outward notes as partly
gone and partly going," that he is "_wholly unable_ to discern the
outward notes of which Mr. Newman speaks, during any part of the last
three hundred years." He might as well have said at once that she did
not exist, if the outward aspects of a Church--orders, creeds,
sacraments, and, in some degree at any rate, preaching and witnessing
for righteousness--are not some of the "outward notes" of a Church.
"Should the pure light of the Gospel be ever restored to _this
benighted land_,"[115] he writes, at the beginning, as the last extract
was written at the end, of his controversial career at Oxford. Is not
such writing as if he wished to emulate in a reverse sense the folly and
falsehood of those who spoke of English Protestants having a monopoly
of the Gospel? He was unpersuasive, he irritated and repelled, in spite
of his wish to be fair and candid, in spite of having so much to teach,
in spite of such vigour of statement and argument, because on the face
of all his writings he was so extravagantly one-sided, so incapable of
an equitable view, so much a slave to the unreality of extremes.


[107] Cf. T. Mozley, _Reminiscences_, vol. ii. p. 5.

[108] In dealing with the Articles either as a test or as a text-book,
this question was manifestly both an honest and a reasonable one. As a
test, and therefore penal, they must be construed strictly; like
judicial decisions, they only ruled as much as was necessary, and in the
wide field of theology confined themselves to the points at issue at the
moment. And as a text-book for instruction, it was obvious that while on
some points they were precise and clear, on others they were vague and
imperfect. The first five Articles left no room for doubt. When the
compilers came to the controversies of their day, for all their strong
language, they left all kinds of questions unanswered. For instance,
they actually left unnoticed the primacy, and much more the
infallibility of the Pope. They condemned the "sacrifices of
Masses"--did they condemn the ancient and universal doctrine of a
Eucharistic sacrifice? They condemned the Romish doctrine of Purgatory,
with its popular tenet of material fire--did that exclude every doctrine
of purgation after death? They condemned Transubstantiation--did they
condemn the Real Presence? They condemned a great popular system--did
they condemn that of which it was a corruption and travesty? These
questions could not be foreclosed, unless on the assumption that there
was no doctrine on such points which could be called Catholic _except
the Roman_. The inquiry was not new; and divines so stoutly anti-Roman
as Dr. Hook and Mr. W. Palmer of Worcester had answered it substantially
in the same sense as Mr. Newman in No. 90.

[109] W.G. Ward, _The Ideal of a Christian Church_, p. 478.

[110] _The Ideal, etc._, p. 479.

[111] It is curious, and characteristic of the unhistorical quality of
Mr. Ward's mind, that his whole hostility should have been concentrated
on Luther and Lutheranism--on Luther, the enthusiastic, declamatory,
unsystematic denouncer of practical abuses, with his strong attachments
to portions of orthodoxy, rather than on Calvin, with his cold love of
power, and the iron consistency and strength of his logical
anti-Catholic system, which has really lived and moulded Protestantism,
while Lutheranism as a religion has passed into countless different
forms. Luther was to Calvin as Carlyle to J.S. Mill or Herbert Spencer;
he defied system. But Luther had burst into outrageous paradoxes, which
fastened on Mr. Ward's imagination.--Yet outrageous language is not
always the most dangerous. Nobody would really find a provocation to
sin, or an excuse for it, in Luther's _Pecca fortiter_ any more than in
Escobar's ridiculous casuistry. There may be much more mischief in the
delicate unrealities of a fashionable preacher, or in many a smooth
sentimental treatise on the religious affections.

[112] _The Ideal, etc._, pp. 587, 305.

[113] Ibid. p. 305.

[114] _Ideal,_ p 286.

[115] _British Critic_ October 1841, p. 340.



No. 90, with the explanations of it given by Mr. Newman and the other
leaders of the movement, might have raised an important and not very
easy question, but one in no way different from the general character of
the matters in debate in the theological controversy of the time. But
No. 90, with the comments on it of Mr. Ward, was quite another matter,
and finally broke up the party of the movement. It was one thing to show
how much there is in common between England and Rome, and quite another
to argue that there is no difference. Mr. Ward's refusal to allow a
reasonable and a Catholic interpretation to the doctrine of the Articles
on Justification, though such an understanding of it had not only been
maintained by Bishop Bull and the later orthodox divines, but was
impressed on all the popular books of devotion, such as the _Whole Duty
of Man_ and Bishop Wilson's _Sacra Privata_; and along with this, the
extreme claim to hold compatible with the Articles the "whole cycle of
Roman doctrine," introduced entirely new conditions into the whole
question. _Non hoec in foedera_ was the natural reflection of numbers of
those who most sympathised with the Tractarian school. The English
Church might have many shortcomings and want many improvements; but
after all she had something to say for herself in her quarrel with Rome;
and the witness of experience for fifteen hundred years must be not
merely qualified and corrected, but absolutely wiped out, if the
allegation were to be accepted that Rome was blameless in all that
quarrel, and had no part in bringing about the confusions of
Christendom. And this contention was more and more enforced in Mr.
Ward's articles in the _British Critic_--enforced, more effectively than
by direct statement, by continual and passing assumption and
implication. They were papers of considerable power and acuteness, and
of great earnestness in their constant appeal to the moral criteria of
truth; though Mr. Ward was not then at his best as a writer, and they
were in composition heavy, diffuse, monotonous, and wearisome. But the
attitude of deep depreciation, steady, systematic, unrelieved, in regard
to that which ought, if acknowledged at all, to deserve the highest
reverence among all things on earth, in regard to an institution which,
with whatever faults, he himself in words still recognised as the Church
of God, was an indefensible and an unwholesome paradox. The analogy is a
commonly accepted one between the Church and the family. How could any
household go on in which there was at work an _animus_ of unceasing and
relentless, though possibly too just criticism, on its characteristic
and perhaps serious faults; and of comparisons, also possibly most just,
with the better ways of other families? It might be the honest desire of
reform and improvement; but charity, patience, equitableness, are
virtues of men in society, as well as strict justice and the desire of
improvement. In the case of the family, such action could only lead to
daily misery and the wasting and dying out of home affections. In the
case of a Church, it must come to the sundering of ties which ought no
longer to bind. Mr. Ward all along insisted that there was no necessity
for looking forward to such an event. He wished to raise, purify, reform
the Church in which Providence had placed him; utterly dissatisfied as
he was with it, intellectually and morally, convinced more and more that
it was wrong, dismally, fearfully wrong, it was his duty, he thought, to
abide in it without looking to consequences; but it was also his duty to
shake the faith of any one he could in its present claims and working,
and to hold up an incomparably purer model of truth and holiness. That
his purpose was what he considered real reform, there is no reason to
doubt, though he chose to shut his eyes to what must come of it. The
position was an unnatural one, but he had great faith in his own
well-fenced logical creations, and defied the objections of a homelier
common sense. He was not content to wait in silence the slow and sad
changes of old convictions, the painful decay and disappearance of
long-cherished ties. His mind was too active, restless, unreserved. To
the last he persisted in forcing on the world, professedly to influence
it, really to defy it, the most violent assertions which he could
formulate of the most paradoxical claims on friends and opponents which
had ever been made.

Mr. Ward's influence was felt also in another way; though here it is not
easy to measure the degree of its force. He was in the habit of
appealing to Mr. Newman to pronounce on the soundness of his principles
and inferences, with the view of getting Mr. Newman's sanction for them
against more timid or more dissatisfied friends; and he would come down
with great glee on objectors to some new and startling position, with
the reply, "Newman says so," Every one knows from the _Apologia_ what
was Mr. Newman's state of mind after 1841--a state of perplexity,
distress, anxiety; he was moving undoubtedly in one direction, but
moving slowly, painfully, reluctantly, intermittently, with views
sometimes clear, sometimes clouded, of that terribly complicated
problem, the answer to which was full of such consequences to himself
and to others. No one ever felt more keenly that it was no mere affair
of dexterous or brilliant logic; if logic could have settled it, the
question would never have arisen. But in this fevered state, with mind,
soul, heart all torn and distracted by the tremendous responsibilities
pressing on him, wishing above everything to be quiet, to be silent, at
least not to speak except at his own times and when he saw the
occasion, he had, besides bearing his own difficulties, to return
off-hand and at the moment some response to questions which he had not
framed, which he did not care for, on which he felt no call to
pronounce, which he was not perhaps yet ready to face, and to answer
which he must commit himself irrevocably and publicly to more than he
was prepared for. Every one is familiar with the proverbial distribution
of parts in the asking and the answering of questions; but when the
asker is no fool, but one of the sharpest-witted of mankind, asking with
little consideration for the condition or the wishes of the answerer,
with great power to force the answer he wants, and with no great
tenderness in the use he makes of it, the situation becomes a trying
one. Mr. Ward was continually forcing on Mr. Newman so-called
irresistible inferences; "If you say so and so, surely you must also say
something more?" Avowedly ignorant of facts and depending for them on
others, he was only concerned with logical consistency. And accordingly
Mr. Newman, with whom producible logical consistency was indeed a great
thing, but with whom it was very far from being everything, had
continually to accept conclusions which he would rather have kept in
abeyance, to make admissions which were used without their
qualifications, to push on and sanction extreme ideas which he himself
shrank from because they were extreme. But it was all over with his
command of time, his liberty to make up his mind slowly on the great
decision. He had to go at Mr. Ward's pace, and not his own. He had to
take Mr. Ward's questions, not when he wanted to have them and at his
own time, but at Mr. Ward's. No one can tell how much this state of
things affected the working of Mr. Newman's mind in that pause of
hesitation before the final step; how far it accelerated the view which
he ultimately took of his position. No one can tell, for many other
influences were mixed up with this one. But there is no doubt that Mr.
Newman felt the annoyance and the unfairness of this perpetual
questioning for the benefit of Mr. Ward's theories, and there can be
little doubt that, in effect, it drove him onwards and cut short his
time of waiting. Engineers tell us that, in the case of a ship rolling
in a sea-way, when the periodic times of the ship's roll coincide with
those of the undulations of the waves, a condition of things arises
highly dangerous to the ship's stability. So the agitations of Mr.
Newman's mind were reinforced by the impulses of Mr. Ward's.[116]

But the great question between England and Rome was not the only matter
which engaged Mr. Ward's active mind. In the course of his articles in
the _British Critic_ he endeavoured to develop in large outlines a
philosophy of religious belief. Restless on all matters without a
theory, he felt the need of a theory of the true method of reaching,
verifying, and judging of religious truth; it seemed to him necessary
especially to a popular religion, such as Christianity claimed to be;
and it was not the least of the points on which he congratulated himself
that he had worked out a view which extended greatly the province and
office of conscience, and of fidelity to it, and greatly narrowed the
province and office of the mere intellect in the case of the great mass
of mankind. The Oxford writers had all along laid stress on the
paramount necessity of the single eye and disciplined heart in accepting
or judging religion; moral subjects could be only appreciated by moral
experience; purity, reverence, humility were as essential in such
questions as zeal, industry, truthfulness, honesty; religious truth is a
gift as well as a conquest; and they dwelt on the great maxims of the
New Testament: "To him that hath shall be given"; "If any man will do
the will of the Father, he shall know of the doctrine." But though Mr.
Newman especially had thrown out deep and illuminating thoughts on this
difficult question, it had not been treated systematically; and this
treatment Mr. Ward attempted to give to it. It was a striking and
powerful effort, full of keen insight into human experience and acute
observations on its real laws and conditions; but on the face of it, it
was laboured and strained; it chose its own ground, and passed unnoticed
neighbouring regions under different conditions; it left undealt with
the infinite variety of circumstances, history, capacities, natural
temperament, and those unexplored depths of will and character,
affecting choice and judgment, the realities of which have been brought
home to us by our later ethical literature. Up to a certain point his
task was easy. It is easy to say that a bad life, a rebellious temper, a
selfish spirit are hopeless disqualifications for judging spiritual
things; that we must take something for granted in learning any truths
whatever; that men must act as moral creatures to attain insight into
moral truths, to realise and grasp them as things, and not abstractions
and words. But then came the questions--What is that moral training,
which, in the case of the good heart, will be practically infallible in
leading into truth? And what is that type of character, of saintliness,
which gives authority which we cannot do wrong in following; where, if
question and controversy arise, is the common measure binding on both
sides; and can even the saints, with their immense variations and
apparent mixtures and failings, furnish that type? And next, where, in
the investigations which may be endlessly diversified, does intellect
properly come in and give its help? For come in somewhere, of course it
must; and the conspicuous dominance of the intellectual element in Mr.
Ward's treatment of the subject is palpable on the face of it. His
attempt is to make out a theory of the reasonableness of unproducible;
because unanalysed, reasons; reasons which, though the individual cannot
state them, may be as real and as legitimately active as the obscure
rays of the spectrum. But though the discussion in Mr. Ward's hands was
suggestive of much, though he might expose the superciliousness of
Whately or the shallowness of Mr. Goode, and show himself no unequal
antagonist to Mr. J.S. Mill, it left great difficulties unanswered, and
it had too much the appearance of being directed to a particular end,
that of guarding the Catholic view of a popular religion from formidable

The moral side of religion had been from the first a prominent subject
in the teaching of the movement Its protests had been earnest and
constant against intellectual self-sufficiency, and the notion that mere
shrewdness and cleverness were competent judges of Christian truth, or
that soundness of judgment in religious matters was compatible with
arrogance or an imperfect moral standard; and it revolted against the
conventional and inconsistent severity of Puritanism, which was shocked
at dancing but indulged freely in good dinners, and was ostentatious in
using the phrases of spiritual life and in marking a separation from the
world, while it surrounded itself with all the luxuries of modern
inventiveness. But this moral teaching was confined to the statement of
principles, and it was carried out in actual life with the utmost
dislike of display and with a shrinking from strong professions. The
motto of Froude's _Remains_, which embodied his characteristic temper,
was an expression of the feeling of the school:

Se sub serenis vultibus
Austera virtus occulit:
Timet videri, ne suum,
Dum prodit, amittat decus,[117]

The heroic strictness and self-denial of the early Church were the
objects of admiration, as what ought to be the standard of Christians;
but people did not yet like to talk much about attempts to copy them.
Such a book as the _Church of the Fathers_ brought out with great force
and great sympathy the ascetic temper and the value put on celibacy in
the early days, and it made a deep impression; but nothing was yet
formulated as characteristic and accepted doctrine.

It was not unnatural that this should change. The principles exemplified
in the high Christian lives of antiquity became concrete in definite
rules and doctrines, and these rules and doctrines were most readily
found in the forms in which the Roman schools and teachers had embodied
them. The distinction between the secular life and the life of
"religion," with all its consequences, became an accepted one. Celibacy
came to be regarded as an obvious part of the self-sacrifice of a
clergyman's life, and the belief and the profession of it formed a test,
understood if not avowed, by which the more advanced or resolute members
of the party were distinguished from the rest. This came home to men on
the threshold of life with a keener and closer touch than questions
about doctrine. It was the subject of many a bitter, agonising struggle
which no one knew anything of; it was with many the act of a supreme
self-oblation. The idea of the single life may be a utilitarian one as
well as a religious one. It may be chosen with no thought of
renunciation or self-denial, for the greater convenience and freedom of
the student or the philosopher, the soldier or the man of affairs. It
may also be chosen without any special feeling of a sacrifice by the
clergyman, as most helpful for his work. But the idea of celibacy, in
those whom it affected at Oxford, was in the highest degree a religious
and romantic one. The hold which it had on the leader of the movement
made itself felt, though little was directly said. To shrink from it was
a mark of want of strength or intelligence, of an unmanly preference for
English home life, of insensibility to the generous devotion and purity
of the saints. It cannot be doubted that at this period of the movement
the power of this idea over imagination and conscience was one of the
strongest forces in the direction of Rome.

Of all these ideas Mr. Ward's articles in the _British Critic_ were the
vigorous and unintermittent exposition. He spoke out, and without
hesitation. There was a perpetual contrast implied, when it was not
forcibly insisted on, between all that had usually been esteemed highest
in the moral temper of the English Church, always closely connected with
home life and much variety of character, and the loftier and bolder but
narrower standard of Roman piety. And Mr. Ward was seconded in the
_British Critic_ by other writers, all fervid in the same cause, some
able and eloquent. The most distinguished of his allies was Mr. Oakeley,
Fellow of Balliol and minister of Margaret Chapel in London. Mr. Oakeley
was, perhaps, the first to realise the capacities of the Anglican ritual
for impressive devotional use, and his services, in spite of the
disadvantages of the time, and also of his chapel, are still remembered
by some as having realised for them, in a way never since surpassed, the
secrets and the consolations of the worship of the Church. Mr. Oakeley,
without much learning, was master of a facile and elegant pen. He was a
man who followed a trusted leader with chivalrous boldness, and was not
afraid of strengthening his statements. Without Mr. Ward's force and
originality, his articles were more attractive reading. His article on
"Jewel" was more than anything else a landmark in the progress of Roman

From the time of Mr. Ward's connexion with the _British Critic_, its
anti-Anglican articles had given rise to complaints which did not become
less loud as time went on. He was a troublesome contributor to his
editor, Mr. T. Mozley, and he made the hair of many of his readers
stand on end with his denunciations of things English and eulogies of
things Roman.

My first troubles (writes Mr. Mozley) were with Oakeley and Ward. I
will not say that I hesitated much as to the truth of what they wrote,
for in that matter I was inclined to go very far, at least in the way
of toleration. Yet it appeared to me quite impossible either that any
great number of English Churchmen would ever go so far, or that the
persons possessing authority in the Church would fail to protest, not
to say more.... As to Ward I did but touch a filament or two in one of
his monstrous cobwebs, and off he ran instantly to Newman to complain
of my gratuitous impertinence. Many years after I was forcibly
reminded of him by a pretty group of a little Cupid flying to his
mother to show a wasp-sting he had just received. Newman was then in
this difficulty. He did not disagree with what Ward had written; but,
on the other hand, he had given neither me nor Ward to understand that
he was likely to step in between us. In fact, he wished to be entirely
clear of the editorship. This, however, was a thing that Ward could
not or would not understand.[119]

The discontent of readers of the _British Critic_ was great. It was
expressed in various ways, and was represented by a pamphlet of Mr. W.
Palmer's of Worcester, in which he contrasted, with words of severe
condemnation, the later writers in the Review with the teaching of the
earlier _Tracts for the Times_, and denounced the "Romanising" tendency
shown in its articles. In the autumn of 1843 the Review came to an end.
A field of work was thus cut off from Mr. Ward. Full of the interest of
the ideas which possessed him, always equipped and cheerfully ready for
the argumentative encounter, and keenly relishing the _certaminis
gaudia_, he at once seized the occasion of Mr. Palmer's pamphlet to
state what he considered his position, and to set himself right in the
eyes of all fair and intelligent readers. He intended a long pamphlet.
It gradually grew under his hands--he was not yet gifted with the power
of compression and arrangement--into a volume of 600 pages: the famous
_Ideal of a Christian Church, considered in Comparison with Existing
Practice_, published in the summer of 1844.

The _Ideal_ is a ponderous and unattractive volume, ill arranged and
rambling, which its style and other circumstances have caused to be
almost forgotten. But there are interesting discussions in it which may
still repay perusal for their own sakes. The object of the book was
twofold. Starting with an "ideal" of what the Christian Church may be
expected to be in its various relations to men, it assumes that the
Roman Church, and only the Roman Church, satisfies the conditions of
what a Church ought to be, and it argues in detail that the English
Church, in spite of its professions, utterly and absolutely fails to
fulfil them. It is _plaidoirie_ against everything English, on the
ground that it cannot be Catholic because it is not Roman. It was not
consistent, for while the writer alleged that "our Church totally
neglected her duties both as guardian of and witness to morality, and as
witness and teacher of orthodoxy," yet he saw no difficulty in
attributing the revival of Catholic truth to "the inherent vitality and
powers of our own Church."[120] But this was not the sting and
provocation of the book. That lay in the developed claim, put forward by
implication in Mr. Ward's previous writings, and now repeated in the
broadest and most unqualified form, to hold his position in the English
Church, avowing and teaching all Roman doctrine.

We find (he exclaims), oh, most joyful, most wonderful, most
unexpected sight! we find the whole cycle of Roman doctrine gradually
possessing numbers of English Churchmen.... Three years have passed
since I said plainly that in subscribing the Articles I renounce no
Roman doctrine; yet I retain my fellowship which I hold on the tenure
of subscription, and have received no ecclesiastical censure in any

There was much to learn from the book; much that might bring home to the
most loyal Churchman a sense of shortcomings, a burning desire for
improvement; much that might give every one a great deal to think about,
on some of the deepest problems of the intellectual and religious life.
But it could not be expected that such a challenge, in such sentences as
these, should remain unnoticed.

The book came out in the Long Vacation, and it was not till the
University met in October that signs of storm began to appear. But
before it broke an incident occurred which inflamed men's tempers. Dr.
Wynter's reign as Vice-Chancellor had come to a close, and the next
person, according to the usual custom of succession, was Dr. Symons,
Warden of Wadham. Dr. Symons had never concealed his strong hostility to
the movement, and he had been one of Dr. Pusey's judges. The prospect of
a partisan Vice-Chancellor, certainly very determined, and supposed not
to be over-scrupulous, was alarming. The consent of Convocation to the
Chancellor's nomination of his substitute had always been given in
words, though no instance of its having been refused was known, at least
in recent times. But a great jealousy about the rights of Convocation
had been growing up under the late autocratic policy of the Heads, and
there was a disposition to assert, and even to stretch these rights, a
disposition not confined to the party of the movement. It was proposed
to challenge Dr. Symons's nomination. Great doubts were felt and
expressed about the wisdom of the proposal; but at length opposition was
resolved upon. The step was a warning to the Heads, who had been
provoking enough; but there was not enough to warrant such a violent
departure from usage, and it was the act of exasperation rather than of
wisdom. The blame for it must be shared between the few who fiercely
urged it, and the many who disapproved and acquiesced. On the day of
nomination, the scrutiny was allowed, _salvâ auctoritate Cancellarii_;
but Dr. Symons's opponents were completely defeated by 883 to 183. It
counted, not unreasonably, as a "Puseyite defeat."

The attempt and its result made it certain that in the attack that was
sure to come on Mr. Ward's book, he would meet with no mercy. As soon as
term began the Board of Heads of Houses took up the matter; they were
earnestly exhorted to it by a letter of Archbishop Whately's, which was
read at the Board. But they wanted no pressing, nor is it astonishing
that they could not understand the claim to hold the "whole cycle" of
Roman doctrine in the English Church. Mr. Ward's view was that he was
loyally doing the best he could for "our Church," not only in showing up
its heresies and faults, but in urging that the only remedy was
wholesale submission to Rome. To the University authorities this was
taking advantage of his position in the Church to assail and if possible
destroy it. And to numbers of much more sober and moderate Churchmen,
sympathisers with the general spirit of the movement, it was evident
that Mr. Ward had long passed the point when tolerance could be fairly
asked, consistently with any respect for the English Church, for such
sweeping and paradoxical contradictions, by her own servants, of her
claims and title. Mr. Ward's manner also, which, while it was serious
enough in his writings, was easy and even jocular in social intercourse,
left the impression, in reality a most unfair impression, that he was
playing and amusing himself with these momentous questions.

A Committee of the Board examined the book; a number of startling
propositions were with ease picked out, some preliminary skirmishing as
to matters of form took place, and in December 1844 the Board announced
that they proposed to submit to Convocation without delay three
measures:--(1) to condemn Mr. Ward's book; (2) to degrade Mr. Ward by
depriving him of all his University degrees; and (3) whereas the
existing Statutes gave the Vice-Chancellor power of calling on any
member of the University at any time to prove his orthodoxy by
subscribing the Articles, to add to this a declaration, to be henceforth
made by the subscriber, that he took them in the sense in which "they
were both first published and were now imposed by the University," with
the penalty of expulsion against any one, lay or clerical, who thrice
refused subscription with this declaration.

As usual, the Board entirely mistook the temper of the University, and
by their violence and want of judgment turned the best chance they ever
had, of carrying the University with them, into what their blunders
really made an ignominious defeat. If they had contented themselves with
the condemnation, in almost any terms, of Mr. Ward's book, and even of
its author, the condemnation would have been overwhelming. A certain
number of men would have still stood by Mr. Ward, either from friendship
or sympathy, or from independence of judgment, or from dislike of the
policy of the Board; but they would have been greatly outnumbered. The
degradation--the Board did not venture on the logical consequence,
expulsion--was a poor and even ridiculous measure of punishment; to
reduce Mr. Ward to an undergraduate _in statu pupillari_, and a
commoner's short gown, was a thing to amuse rather than terrify. The
personal punishment seemed unworthy when they dared not go farther,
while to many the condemnation of the book seemed penalty enough; and
the condemnation of the book by these voters was weakened by their
refusal to carry it into personal disgrace and disadvantage. Still, if
these two measures had stood by themselves, they could not have been
resisted, and the triumph of the Board would have been a signal one. But
they could not rest. They must needs attempt to put upon subscription,
just when its difficulties were beginning to be felt, not by one party,
but by all, an interpretation which set the University and Church in a
flame. The cry, almost the shriek, arose that it was a new test, and a
test which took for granted what certainly needed proof, that the sense
in which the Articles were first understood and published was exactly
the same as that in which the University now received and imposed them.
It was in vain that explanations, assurances, protests, were proffered;
no new test, it was said, was thought of--the Board would never think of
such a thing; it was only something to ensure good faith and honesty.
But it was utterly useless to contend against the storm. A test it was,
and a new test no one would have. It was clear that, if the third
proposal was pushed, it would endanger the votes about Mr. Ward. After
some fruitless attempts at justification the Board had, in the course
of a month, to recognise that it had made a great mistake. The
condemnation of Mr. Ward was to come on, on the 13th of February; and on
the 23d of January the Vice-Chancellor, in giving notice of it,
announced that the third proposal was withdrawn.

It might have been thought that this was lesson enough to leave well
alone. The Heads were sure of votes against Mr. Ward, more or less
numerous; they were sure of a victory which would be a severe blow, not
only to Mr. Ward and his special followers, but to the Tractarian party
with which he had been so closely connected. But those bitter and
intemperate spirits which had so long led them wrong were not to be
taught prudence even by their last experience. The mischief makers were
at work, flitting about the official lodgings at Wadham and Oriel. Could
not something be done, even at this late hour, to make up for the loss
of the test? Could not something be done to disgrace a greater name than
Mr. Ward's? Could not the opportunity which was coming of rousing the
feeling of the University against the disciple be turned to account to
drag forth his supposed master from his retirement and impunity, and
brand the author of No. 90 with the public stigma--no longer this time
of a Hebdomadal censure, but of a University condemnation? The
temptation was irresistible to a number of disappointed
partisans--kindly, generous, good-natured men in private life, but
implacable in their fierce fanaticism. In their impetuous vehemence
they would not even stop to think what would be said of the conditions
and circumstances under which they pressed their point. On the 23d of
January the Vice-Chancellor had withdrawn the test. On the 25th of
January--those curious in coincidences may observe that it was the date
of No. 90 in 1841--a circular was issued inviting signatures for a
requisition to the Board, asking them to propose, in the approaching
Convocation of the 13th of February, a formal censure of the principles
of No. 90. The invitation to sign was issued in the names of Dr.
Faussett and Dr. Ellerton of Magdalen. It received between four and five
hundred signatures, as far as was known; but it was withheld by the
Vice-Chancellor from the inspection of those who officially had a right
to have it before them. On the 4th of February its prayer came before
the Hebdomadal Board. The objection of haste--that not ten days
intervened between this new and momentous proposal and the day of
voting--was brushed aside. The members of the Board were mad enough not
to see, not merely the odiousness of the course, but the aggravated
odiousness of hurry. The proposal was voted by the majority, _sans
phrase._ And they ventured, amid all the excitement and irritation of
the moment, to offer for the sanction of the University a decree framed
in the words of their own censure.

The interval before the Convocation was short, but it was long enough
for decisive opinions on the proposal of the Board to be formed and
expressed. Leading men in London, Mr. Gladstone among them, were clear
that it was an occasion for the exercise of the joint veto with which
the Proctors were invested. The veto was intended, if for anything, to
save the University from inconsiderate and hasty measures; and seldom,
except in revolutionary times, had so momentous and so unexpected a
measure been urged on with such unseemly haste. The feeling of the
younger Liberals, Mr. Stanley, Mr. Donkin, Mr. Jowett, Dr. Greenhill,
was in the same direction. On the 10th of February the Proctors
announced to the Board their intention to veto the third proposal. But
of course the thing went forward. The Proctors were friends of Mr.
Newman, and the Heads believed that this would counterbalance any effect
from their act of authority. It is possible that the announcement may
have been regarded as a mere menace, too audacious to be fulfilled. On
the 13th of February, amid slush and snow, Convocation met in the
Theatre. Mr. Ward asked leave to defend himself in English, and occupied
one of the rostra, usually devoted to the recital of prize poems and
essays. He spoke with vigour and ability, dividing his speech, and
resting in the interval between the two portions in the rostrum.[122]
There was no other address, and the voting began. The first vote, the
condemnation of the book, was carried by 777 to 386. The second, by a
more evenly balanced division, 569 to 511. When the Vice-Chancellor put
the third, the Proctors rose, and the senior Proctor, Mr. Guillemard of
Trinity, stopped it in the words, _Nobis procuratoribus non placet_.
Such a step, of course, only suspended the vote, and the year of office
of these Proctors was nearly run. But they had expressed the feeling of
those whom they represented. It was shown not only in a largely-signed
address of thanks. All attempts to revive the decree at the expiration
of their year of office failed. The wiser heads in the Hebdomadal Board
recognised at last that they had better hold their hand. Mistakes men
may commit, and defeats they may undergo, and yet lose nothing that
concerns their character for acting as men of a high standard ought to
act. But in this case, mistakes and defeat were the least of what the
Board brought on themselves. This was the last act of a long and
deliberately pursued course of conduct; and if it was the last, it was
because it was the upshot and climax, and neither the University nor any
one else would endure that it should go on any longer. The proposed
attack on Mr. Newman betrayed how helpless they were, and to what paltry
acts of worrying it was, in their judgment, right and judicious to
condescend. It gave a measure of their statesmanship, wisdom, and good
feeling in defending the interests of the Church; and it made a very
deep and lasting impression on all who were interested in the honour and
welfare of Oxford. Men must have blinded themselves to the plainest
effects of their own actions who could have laid themselves open to such
a description of their conduct as is contained in the following extract
from a paper of the time--a passage of which the indignant and pathetic
undertone reflected the indignation and the sympathy of hundreds of men
of widely differing opinions.

The vote is an answer to a cry--that cry is one of dishonesty, and
this dishonesty the proposed resolution, as plainly as it dares to say
anything, insinuates. On this part of the question, those who have
ever been honoured by Mr. Newman's friendship must feel it dangerous
to allow themselves thus to speak. And yet they must speak; for no one
else can appreciate it as truly as they do. When they see the person
whom they have been accustomed to revere as few men are revered, whose
labours, whose greatness, whose tenderness, whose singleness and
holiness of purpose, they have been permitted to know intimately--not
allowed even the poor privilege of satisfying, by silence and
retirement--by the relinquishment of preferment, position, and
influence--the persevering hostility of persons whom they cannot help
comparing with him--not permitted even to submit in peace to those
irregular censures, to which he seems to have been even morbidly
alive, but dragged forth to suffer an oblique and tardy condemnation;
called again to account for matters now long ago accounted for; on
which a judgment has been pronounced, which, whatever others may think
of it, he at least has accepted as conclusive--when they contrast his
merits, his submission, his treatment, which they see and know, with
the merits, the bearing, the fortunes of those who are doggedly
pursuing him, it does become very difficult to speak without sullying
what it is a kind of pleasure to feel is _his_ cause by using hard
words, or betraying it by not using them. It is too difficult to
speak, as ought to be spoken, of this ungenerous and gratuitous
afterthought--too difficult to keep clear of what, at least, will be
_thought_ exaggeration; too difficult to do justice to what they feel
to be undoubtedly true; and I will not attempt to say more than enough
to mark an opinion which ought to be plainly avowed, as to the nature
of this procedure.[123]


[116] A pencilled note indicates that this illustration was suggested by
experiments in naval engineering carried on at one time by Mr. W.
Froude. Cf. T. Mozley, _Reminiscences_, vol. ii. p. 17.

[117] Hymn in Paris Breviary, _Commune Sanctarum Mulierum_.

[118] _Reminiscences_, ii. 243, 244. Cf. _British Critic_, July 1841.

[119] _Reminiscences,_ ii. 223.

[120] _Ideal_, p. 566.

[121] _Ibid._ pp. 565-567.

[122] It is part of the history of the time, that during those anxious
days, Mr. Ward was engaged to be married. The engagement came to the
knowledge of his friends, to their great astonishment and amusement,
very soon after the events in the Theatre.

[123] From a _Short Appeal to Members of Convocation on the proposed
Censure on No. 90_. By Frederic Rogers, Fellow of Oriel. (Dated
Saturday, 8th of February 1845.)



The events of February were a great shock. The routine of Oxford had
been broken as it had never been broken by the fiercest strifes before.
Condemnations had been before passed on opinions, and even on persons.
But to see an eminent man, of blameless life, a fellow of one of the
first among the Colleges, solemnly deprived of his degree and all that
the degree carried with it, and that on a charge in which bad faith and
treachery were combined with alleged heresy, was a novel experience,
where the kindnesses of daily companionship and social intercourse still
asserted themselves as paramount to official ideas of position. And
when, besides this, people realised what more had been attempted, and by
how narrow a chance a still heavier blow had been averted from one
towards whom so many hearts warmed, how narrowly a yoke had been escaped
which would have seemed to subject all religious thought in the
University to the caprice or the blind zeal of a partisan official, the
sense of relief was mixed with the still present memory of a desperate
peril And then came the question as to what was to come next. That the
old policy of the Board would be revived and pursued when the end of the
Proctors' year delivered it from their inconvenient presence, was soon
understood to be out of the question. The very violence of the measures
attempted had its reaction, which stopped anything further. The
opponents of Tractarianism, Orthodox and Liberal, were for the moment
gorged with their success. What men waited to see was the effect on the
party of the movement; how it would influence the advanced portion of
it; how it would influence the little company who had looked on in
silence from their retirement at Littlemore. The more serious aspect of
recent events was succeeded for the moment by a certain comic contrast,
created by Mr. Ward's engagement to be married, which was announced
within a week of his degradation, and which gave the common-rooms
something to smile at after the strain and excitement of the scene in
the Theatre. But that passed, and the graver outlook of the situation
occupied men's thoughts.

There was a widespread feeling of insecurity. Friends did not know of
friends, how their minds were working, how they might go. Anxious
letters passed, the writers not daring to say too much, or reveal too
much alarm. And yet there was still some hope that at least with the
great leader matters were not desperate. To his own friends he gave
warning; he had already done so in a way to leave little to expect but
at last to lose him; he spoke of resigning his fellowship in October,
though he wished to defer this till the following June; but nothing
final had been said publicly. Even at the last it was only anticipated
by some that he would retire into lay communion. But that silence was
awful and ominous. He showed no signs of being affected by what had
passed in Oxford. He privately thanked the Proctors for saving him from
what would have distressed him; but he made no comments on the measures
themselves. Still it could not but be a climax of everything as far as
Oxford was concerned. And he was a man who saw signs in such events.

It was inevitable that the events of the end of 1844 and the beginning
of 1845 should bring with them a great crisis in the development of
religious opinion, in the relations of its different forms to one
another, and further, in the thoughts of many minds as to their personal
position, their duty, and their prospects. There had been such a crisis
in 1841 at the publication of No. 90. After the discussions which
followed that tract, Anglican theology could never be quite the same
that it had been before. It was made to feel the sense of some grave
wants, which, however they might be supplied in the future, could no
longer be unnoticed or uncared for. And individuals, amid the strife of
tongues, had felt, some strongly and practically, but a much larger
number dimly and reluctantly, the possibility, unwelcome to most, but
not without interest to others, of having to face the strange and at
one time inconceivable task of revising the very foundations of their
religion. And such a revision had since that time been going on more or
less actively in many minds; in some cases with very decisive results.
But after the explosion caused by Mr. Ward's book, a crisis of a much
more grave and wide-reaching sort had arrived. To ordinary lookers-on it
naturally seemed that a shattering and decisive blow had been struck at
the Tractarian party and their cause; struck, indeed, formally and
officially, only at its extravagances, but struck, none the less,
virtually, at the premisses which led to these extravagances, and at the
party, which, while disapproving them, shrank, with whatever
motives,--policy, generosity, or secret sympathy,--from joining in the
condemnation of them. It was more than a defeat, it was a rout, in which
they were driven and chased headlong from the field; a wreck in which
their boasts and hopes of the last few years met the fate which wise men
had always anticipated. Oxford repudiated them. Their theories, their
controversial successes, their learned arguments, their appeals to the
imagination, all seemed to go down, and to be swept away like chaff,
before the breath of straightforward common sense and honesty.
Henceforth there was a badge affixed to them and all who belonged to
them, a badge of suspicion and discredit, and even shame, which bade men
beware of them, an overthrow under which it seemed wonderful that they
could raise their heads or expect a hearing. It is true, that to those
who looked below the surface, the overthrow might have seemed almost too
showy and theatrical to be quite all that it was generally thought to
be. There had been too much passion, and too little looking forward to
the next steps, in the proceedings of the victors. There was too much
blindness to weak points of their own position, too much forgetfulness
of the wise generosity of cautious warfare. The victory was easy to win;
the next moment it was quite obvious that they did not know what to do
with it, and were at their wits' end to understand what it meant. And
the defeated party, though defeated signally and conspicuously in the
sight of the Church and the country, had in it too large a proportion of
the serious and able men of the University, with too clear and high a
purpose, and too distinct a sense of the strength and reality of their
ground, to be in as disadvantageous a condition as from a distance might
be imagined. A closer view would have discovered how much sympathy there
was for their objects and for their main principles in many who greatly
disapproved of much in the recent course and tendency of the movement.
It might have been seen how the unwise measures of the Heads had
awakened convictions among many who were not naturally on their side,
that it was necessary both on the ground of justice and policy to arrest
all extreme measures, and to give a breathing time to the minority.
Confidence in their prospects as a party might have been impaired in the
Tractarians; but confidence in their principles; confidence that they
had rightly interpreted the spirit, the claims, and the duties of the
English Church, confidence that devotion to its cause was the call of
God, whatever might happen to their own fortunes, this confidence was
unshaken by the catastrophe of February.

But that crisis had another important result, not much noticed then, but
one which made itself abundantly evident in the times that followed. The
decisive breach between the old parties in the Church, both Orthodox and
Evangelical, and the new party of the movement, with the violent and
apparently irretrievable discomfiture of the latter as the rising force
in Oxford, opened the way and cleared the ground for the formation and
the power of a third school of opinion, which was to be the most
formidable rival of the Tractarians, and whose leaders were eventually
to succeed where the Tractarians had failed, in becoming the masters and
the reformers of the University. Liberalism had hitherto been
represented in Oxford in forms which though respectable from
intellectual vigour were unattractive, sometimes even repulsive. They
were dry, cold, supercilious, critical; they wanted enthusiasm; they
were out of sympathy with religion and the religious temper and aims.
They played, without knowing it, on the edge of the most dangerous
questions. The older Oxford Liberals were either intellectually
aristocratic, dissecting the inaccuracies or showing up the paralogisms
of the current orthodoxy, or they were poor in character, Liberals from
the zest of sneering and mocking at what was received and established,
or from the convenience of getting rid of strict and troublesome rules
of life. They patronised Dissenters; they gave Whig votes; they made
free, in a mild way, with the pet conventions and prejudices of Tories
and High Churchmen. There was nothing inspiring in them, however much
men might respect their correct and sincere lives. But a younger set of
men brought, mainly from Rugby and Arnold's teaching, a new kind of
Liberalism. It was much bolder and more independent than the older
forms, less inclined to put up with the traditional, more searching and
inquisitive in its methods, more suspicious and daring in its criticism;
but it was much larger in its views and its sympathies, and, above all,
it was imaginative, it was enthusiastic, and, without much of the
devotional temper, it was penetrated by a sense of the reality and
seriousness of religion. It saw greater hopes in the present and the
future than the Tractarians. It disliked their reverence for the past
and the received as inconsistent with what seemed evidence of the
providential order of great and fruitful change. It could not enter into
their discipline of character, and shrank from it as antiquated,
unnatural, and narrow. But these younger Liberals were interested in the
Tractarian innovators, and, in a degree, sympathised with them as a
party of movement who had had the courage to risk and sacrifice much for
an unworldly end. And they felt that their own opportunity was come when
all the parties which claimed to represent the orthodoxy of the English
Church appeared to have broken for good with one another, and when their
differences had thrown so much doubt and disparagement on so important
and revered a symbol of orthodoxy as the Thirty-nine Articles. They
looked on partly with amusement, partly with serious anxiety, at the
dispute; they discriminated with impartiality between the strong and the
weak points in the arguments on both sides: and they enforced with the
same impartiality on both of them the reasons, arising out of the
difficulties in which each party was involved, for new and large
measures, for a policy of forbearance and toleration. They inflicted on
the beaten side, sometimes with more ingenuity than fairness, the lesson
that the "wheel had come round full circle" with them; that they were
but reaping as they themselves had sown:--but now that there seemed
little more to fear from the Tractarians, the victorious authorities
were the power which the Liberals had to keep in check. They used their
influence, such as it was (and it was not then what it was afterwards),
to protect the weaker party. It was a favourite boast of Dean Stanley's
in after-times, that the intervention of the Liberals had saved the
Tractarians from complete disaster. It is quite true that the younger
Liberals disapproved the continuance of harsh measures, and some of them
exerted themselves against such measures. They did so in many ways and
for various reasons; from consistency, from feelings of personal
kindness, from a sense of justice, from a sense of interest--some in a
frank and generous spirit, others with contemptuous indifference. But
the debt of the Tractarians to their Liberal friends in 1845 was not so
great as Dean Stanley, thinking of the Liberal party as what it had
ultimately grown to be, supposed to be the case. The Liberals of his
school were then still a little flock: a very distinguished and a very
earnest set of men, but too young and too few as yet to hold the balance
in such a contest. The Tractarians were saved by what they were and what
they had done, and could do, themselves. But it is also true, that out
of these feuds and discords, the Liberal party which was to be dominant
in Oxford took its rise, soon to astonish old-fashioned Heads of Houses
with new and deep forms of doubt more audacious than Tractarianism, and
ultimately to overthrow not only the victorious authorities, but the
ancient position of the Church, and to recast from top to bottom the
institutions of the University. The 13th of February was not only the
final defeat and conclusion of the first stage of the movement. It was
the birthday of the modern Liberalism of Oxford.

But it was also a crisis in the history of many lives. From that moment,
the decision of a number of good and able men, who had once promised to
be among the most valuable servants of the English Church, became
clear. If it were doubtful before, in many cases, whether they would
stay with her, the doubt existed no longer. It was now only a question
of time when they would break the tie and renounce their old
allegiance. In the bitter, and in many cases agonising struggle which
they had gone through as to their duty to God and conscience, a sign
seemed now to be given them which they could not mistake. They were
invited, on one side, to come; they were told sternly and scornfully, on
the other, to go. They could no longer be accused of impatience if they
brought their doubts to an end, and made up their minds that their call
was to submit to the claims of Rome, that their place was in its

Yet there was a pause. It was no secret what was coming. But men
lingered. It was not till the summer that the first drops of the storm
began to fall. Then through the autumn and the next year, friends, whose
names and forms were familiar in Oxford, one by one disappeared and were
lost to it. Fellowships, livings, curacies, intended careers, were given
up. Mr. Ward went. Mr. Capes, who had long followed Mr. Ward's line, and
had spent his private means to build a church near Bridgewater, went
also. Mr. Oakeley resigned Margaret Chapel and went. Mr. Ambrose St.
John, Mr. Coffin, Mr. Dalgairns, Mr. Faber, Mr. T. Meyrick, Mr. Albany
Christie, Mr. R. Simpson of Oriel, were received in various places and
various ways, and in the next year, Mr. J.S. Northcote, Mr. J.B.
Morris, Mr. G. Ryder, Mr. David Lewis. On the 3d of October 1845 Mr.
Newman requested the Provost of Oriel to remove his name from the books
of the College and University, but without giving any reason. The 6th of
October is the date of the "Advertisement" to the work which had
occupied Mr. Newman through the year--the _Essay on the Development of
Christian Doctrine_. On the 8th he was, as he has told us in the
_Apologia_, received by Father Dominic, the Passionist. To the
"Advertisement" are subjoined the following words:

_Postscript_.--Since the above was written the Author has joined the
Catholic Church. It was his intention and wish to have carried his
volume through the press before deciding finally on this step. But
when he got some way in the printing, he recognised in himself a
conviction of the truth of the conclusion, to which the discussion
leads, so clear as to preclude further deliberation. Shortly
afterwards circumstances gave him the opportunity of acting on it, and
he felt that he had no warrant for refusing to act on it.

So the reality of what had been so long and often so lightly talked
about by those who dared it, provoked it, or hoped for it, had come
indeed; and a considerable portion of English society learned what it
was to be novices in a religious system, hitherto not only alien and
unknown, but dreaded, or else to have lost friends and relatives, who
were suddenly transformed into severe and uncompromising opponents,
speaking in unfamiliar terms, and sharply estranged in sympathies and
rules of life. Some of them, especially those who had caught the spirit
of their leader, began life anew, took their position as humble learners
in the Roman Schools, and made the most absolute sacrifice of a whole
lifetime that a man can make. To others the change came and was accepted
as an emancipation, not only from the bonds of Anglicanism, but from the
obligations of orders and priestly vows and devotion. In some cases,
where they were married, there was no help for it. But in almost all
cases there was a great surrender of what English life has to offer to
those brought up in it. Of the defeated party, those who remained had
much to think about, between grief at the breaking of old ties, and the
loss of dear friends, and perplexities about their own position. The
anxiety, the sorrow at differing and parting, seem now almost
extravagant and unintelligible. There are those who sneer at the
"distress" of that time. There had not been the same suffering, the same
estrangement, when Churchmen turned dissenters, like Bulteel and Baptist
Noel. But the movement had raised the whole scale of feeling about
religious matters so high, the questions were felt to be so momentous,
the stake and the issue so precious, the "Loss and Gain" so immense,
that to differ on such subjects was the differing on the greatest things
which men could differ about. But in a time of distress, of which few
analogous situations in our days can give the measure, the leaders stood
firm. Dr. Pusey, Mr. Keble, Mr. Marriott accepted, with unshaken faith
in the cause of the English Church, the terrible separation. They
submitted to the blow--submitted to the reproach of having been
associates of those who had betrayed hopes and done so much mischief;
submitted to the charge of inconsistency, insincerity, cowardice; but
they did not flinch. Their unshrinking attitude was a new point of
departure for those who believed in the Catholic foundation of the
English Church.

Among those deeply affected by these changes, there were many who had
been absolutely uninfluenced by the strong Roman current. They had
recognised many good things in the Roman Church; they were fully alive
to many shortcomings in the English Church; but the possibility of
submission to the Roman claims had never been a question with them. A
typical example of such minds was Mr. Isaac Williams, a pupil of Mr.
Keble, an intimate friend of Mr. Newman, a man of simple and saintly
life, with heart and soul steeped in the ancient theology of undivided
Christendom, and for that very reason untempted by the newer principles
and fashions of Rome. There were numbers who thought like him; but there
were others also, who were forced in afresh upon themselves, and who had
to ask themselves why they stayed, when a teacher, to whom they had
looked up as they had to Mr. Newman, and into whose confidence they had
been admitted, thought it his duty to go. With some the ultimate, though
delayed, decision was to follow him. With others, the old and fair
_proejudicium_ against the claims of Rome, which had always asserted
itself even against the stringent logic of Mr. Ward and the deep and
subtle ideas of Mr. Newman, became, when closed with, and tested face to
face in the light of fact and history, the settled conviction of life.
Some extracts from contemporary papers, real records of the private
perplexities and troubles actually felt at the time, may illustrate what
was passing in the minds of some whom knowledge and love of Mr. Newman
failed to make his followers in his ultimate step. The first extract
belongs to some years before, but it is part of the same train of

As to myself, I am getting into a very unsettled state as to aims and
prospects. I mean that as things are going on, a man does not know
where he is going to; one cannot imagine what state of things to look
forward to; in what way, and under what circumstances, one's coming
life--if it does come--is to be spent; what is to become of one. I
cannot at all imagine myself a convert; but how am I likely, in the
probable state of things, to be able to serve as an English clergyman?
Shall I ever get Priest's orders? Shall I be able to continue always
serving? What is one's line to be; what ought to be one's aims; or can
one have any?

The storm is not yet come: how it may come, and how soon it may blow
over, and what it may leave behind, is doubtful; but some sort of
crisis, I think, must come before things settle. With the Bishops
against us, and Puritanism aggressive, we may see strange things
before the end.

When the "storm" had at length come, though, before its final violence,
the same writer continues:

The present hopeless check and weight to our party--what has for the
time absolutely crushed us--is the total loss of confidence arising
from the strong tendency, no longer to be dissembled or explained
away, among many of us to Rome. I see no chance of our recovery, or
getting our heads above water from this, at least in England, for
years to come. And it is a check which will one day be far greater
than it is now. Under the circumstances--having not the most distant
thought of leaving the English Church myself, and yet having no means
of escaping the very natural suspicion of Romanising without giving up
my best friends and the most saint-like men in England--how am I to
view my position? What am I witnessing to? What, if need be, is one to
suffer for? A man has no leaning towards Rome, does not feel, as
others do, the strength of her exclusive claims to allegiance, the
perfection of her system, its right so to overbalance all the good
found in ours as to make ours absolutely untrustworthy for a Christian
to rest in, notwithstanding all circumstances of habit, position, and
national character; has such doubts on the Roman theory of the
Church, the Ultramontane, and such instincts not only against many of
their popular religious customs and practical ways of going on, but
against their principles of belief (_e.g._ divine faith = relics), as
to repel him from any wish to sacrifice his own communion for theirs;
yet withal, and without any great right on his part to complain, is
set down as a man who may any day, and certainly will some day, go
over; and he has no lawful means of removing the suspicion:--why is it
_tanti_ to submit to this?

However little sympathy we Englishmen have with Rome, the Western
Churches under Rome are really living and holy branches of the Church
Catholic; corruptions they may have, so may we; but putting these
aside, they are Catholic Christians, or Catholic Christianity has
failed out of the world: we are no more [Catholic] than they. But
this, _public opinion_ has not for centuries, and _does not now_,
realise or allow. So no one can express in reality and detail a
practical belief in their Catholicity, in their equality (setting one
thing against another) with us as Christians, without being suspected
of what such belief continually leads to--disloyalty to the English
Church. Yet such belief is nevertheless well-grounded and right, and
there is no great hope for the Church till it gains ground, soberly,
powerfully, and apart from all low views of proselytising, or fear of
danger. What therefore the disadvantage of those among us who do not
really deserve the imputation of Romanising may be meant for, is to
break this practical belief to the English Church. We may be silenced,
but, without any wish to leave the English Church, we cannot give up
the belief, that the Western Church under Rome is a true, living,
venerable branch of the Christian Church. There are dangers in such a
belief, but they must be provided against, they do not affect the
truth of the belief.

Such searchings of heart were necessarily rendered more severe and acute
by Mr. Newman's act. There was no longer any respite; his dearest
friends must choose between him and the English Church. And the choice
was made, by those who did not follow him, on a principle little
honoured or believed in at the time on either side, Roman or
Protestant; but a principle which in the long-run restored hope and
energy to a cause which was supposed to be lost. It was not the revival
of the old _Via Media_; it was not the assertion of the superiority of
the English Church; it was not a return to the old-fashioned and
ungenerous methods of controversy with Rome--one-sided in all cases,
ignorant, coarse, unchristian in many. It was not the proposal of a new
theory of the Church--its functions, authority and teaching, a
counter-ideal to Mr. Ward's imposing _Ideal_ It was the resolute and
serious appeal from brilliant logic, and keen sarcasm, and pathetic and
impressive eloquence, to reality and experience, as well as to history,
as to the positive and substantial characteristics of the traditional
and actually existing English Church, shown not on paper but in work,
and in spite of contradictory appearances and inconsistent elements; and
along with this, an attempt to put in a fair and just light the
comparative excellences and defects of other parts of Christendom,
excellences to be ungrudgingly admitted, but not to be allowed to bar
the recognition of defects. The feeling which had often stirred, even
when things looked at the worst, that Mr. Newman had dealt unequally and
hardly with the English Church, returned with gathered strength. The
English Church was after all as well worth living in and fighting for as
any other; it was not only in England that light and dark, in teaching
and in life, were largely intermingled, and the mixture had to be
largely allowed for. We had our Sparta, a noble, if a rough and an
incomplete one; patiently to do our best for it was better than leaving
it to its fate, in obedience to signs and reasonings which the heat of
strife might well make delusive. It was one hopeful token, that boasting
had to be put away from us for a long time to come. In these days of
stress and sorrow were laid the beginnings of a school, whose main
purpose was to see things as they are; which had learned by experience
to distrust unqualified admiration and unqualified disparagement;
determined not to be blinded even by genius to plain certainties; not
afraid to honour all that is great and beneficent in Rome, not afraid
with English frankness to criticise freely at home; but not to be won
over, in one case, by the good things, to condone and accept the bad
things; and not deterred, in the other, from service, from love, from
self-sacrifice, by the presence of much to regret and to resist.

All this new sense of independence, arising from the sense of having
been left almost desolate by the disappearance of a great stay and light
in men's daily life, led to various and different results. In some
minds, after a certain trial, it actually led men back to that Romeward
tendency from which they had at first recoiled. In others, the break-up
of the movement under such a chief led them on, more or less, and some
very far, into a career of speculative Liberalism like that of Mr.
Blanco White, the publication of whose biography coincided with Mr.
Newman's change. In many others, especially in London and the towns, it
led to new and increasing efforts to popularise in various ways--through
preaching, organisation, greater attention to the meaning, the
solemnities, and the fitnesses of worship--the ideas of the Church
movement. Dr. Pusey and Mr. Keble were still the recognised chiefs of
the continued yet remodelled movement. It had its quarterly organ, the
_Christian Remembrancer_, which had taken the place of the old _British
Critic_ in the autumn of 1844. A number of able Cambridge men had thrown
their knowledge and thoroughness of work into the _Ecclesiologist_.
There were newspapers--the _English Churchman_, and, starting in 1846
from small and difficult beginnings, in the face of long discouragement
and at times despair, the _Guardian_. One mind of great and rare power,
though only recognised for what he was much later in his life, one
undaunted heart, undismayed, almost undepressed, so that those who knew
not its inner fires thought him cold and stoical, had lifted itself
above the wreck at Oxford. The shock which had cowed and almost crushed
some of Mr. Newman's friends roused and fired Mr. James Mozley.

To take leave of Mr. Newman (he writes on the morrow of the event) is
a heavy task. His step was not unforeseen; but when it is come those
who knew him feel the fact as a real change within them--feel as if
they were entering upon a fresh stage of their own life. May that very
change turn to their profit, and discipline them by its hardness! It
may do so if they will use it so. Let nobody complain; a time must
come, sooner or later, in every one's life, when he has to part with
advantages, connexions, supports, consolations, that he has had
hitherto, and face a new state of things. Every one knows that he is
not always to have all that he has now: he says to himself, "What
shall I do when this or that stay, or connexion, is gone?" and the
answer is, "That he will do without it." ... The time comes when this
is taken away; and then the mind is left alone, and is thrown back
upon itself, as the expression is. But no religious mind tolerates the
notion of being really thrown upon itself; this is only to say in
other words, that it is thrown back upon God.... Secret mental
consolations, whether of innocent self-flattery or reposing
confidence, are over; a more real and graver life begins--a firmer,
harder disinterestedness, able to go on its course by itself. Let them
see in the change a call to greater earnestness, sincerer simplicity,
and more solid manliness. What were weaknesses before will be sins

"A new stage has begun. Let no one complain":--this, the expression of
individual feeling, represents pretty accurately the temper into which
the Church party settled when the first shock was over. They knew that
henceforward they had difficult times before them. They knew that they
must work under suspicion, even under proscription. They knew that they
must expect to see men among themselves perplexed, unsettled, swept away
by the influences which had affected Mr. Newman, and still more by the
precedent of his example. They knew that they must be prepared to lose
friends and fellow-helpers, and to lose them sometimes unexpectedly and
suddenly, as the wont was so often at this time. Above all, they knew
that they had a new form of antagonism to reckon with, harder than any
they had yet encountered. It had the peculiar sad bitterness which
belongs to civil war, when men's foes are they of their own
households--the bitterness arising out of interrupted intimacy and
affection. Neither side could be held blameless; the charge from the one
of betrayal and desertion was answered by the charge from the other of
insincerity and faithlessness to conscience, and by natural but not
always very fair attempts to proselytise; and undoubtedly, the English
Church, and those who adhered to it, had, for some years after 1845, to
hear from the lips of old friends the most cruel and merciless
invectives which knowledge of her weak points, wit, argumentative power,
eloquence, and the triumphant exultation at once of deliverance and
superiority could frame. It was such writing and such preaching as had
certainly never been seen on the Roman side before, at least in England.
Whether it was adapted to its professed purpose may perhaps be doubted;
but the men who went certainly lost none of their vigour as
controversialists or their culture as scholars. Not to speak of Mr.
Newman, such men as Mr. Oakeley, Mr. Ward, Mr. Faber, and Mr. Dalgairns
more than fulfilled in the great world of London their reputation at
Oxford. This was all in prospect before the eyes of those who had
elected to cast in their lot with the English Church. It was not an
encouraging position. The old enthusiastic sanguineness had been
effectually quenched. Their Liberal critics and their Liberal friends
have hardly yet ceased to remind them how sorry a figure they cut in the
eyes of men of the world, and in the eyes of men of bold and effective
thinking.[126] The "poor Puseyites" are spoken of in tones half of pity
and half of sneer. Their part seemed played out. There seemed nothing
more to make them of importance. They had not succeeded in Catholicising
the English Church, they had not even shaken it by a wide secession.
Henceforth they were only marked men. All that could be said for them
was, that at the worst, they did not lose heart. They had not forgotten
the lessons of their earlier time.

It is not my purpose to pursue farther the course of the movement. All
the world knows that it was not, in fact, killed or even much arrested
by the shock of 1845. But after 1845, its field was at least as much out
of Oxford as in it. As long as Mr. Newman remained, Oxford was
necessarily its centre, necessarily, even after he had seemed to
withdraw from it. When he left his place vacant, the direction of it was
not removed from Oxford, but it was largely shared by men in London and
the country. It ceased to be strongly and prominently Academical. No
one in deed held such a position as Dr. Pusey's and Mr. Keble's; but
though Dr. Pusey continued to be a great power at Oxford, he now became
every day a much greater power outside of it; while Mr. Keble was now
less than ever an Academic, and became more and more closely connected
with men out of Oxford, his friends in London and his neighbours at
Hursley and Winchester. The cause which Mr. Newman had given up in
despair was found to be deeply interesting in ever new parts of the
country: and it passed gradually into the hands of new leaders more
widely acquainted with English society. It passed into the hands of the
Wilberforces, and Archdeacon Manning; of Mr. Bennett, Mr. Dodsworth, Mr.
W. Scott, Dr. Irons, Mr. E. Hawkins, and Mr. Upton Richards in London.
It had the sympathy and counsels of men of weight, or men who were
rising into eminence and importance--some of the Judges, Mr. Gladstone,
Mr. Roundell Palmer, Mr. Frederic Rogers, Mr. Mountague Bernard, Mr.
Hope Scott (as he afterwards was), Mr. Badeley, and a brilliant recruit
from Cambridge, Mr. Beresford Hope. It attracted the sympathy of another
boast of Cambridge, the great Bishop of New Zealand, and his friend Mr.
Whytehead. Those times were the link between what we are now, so changed
in many ways, and the original impulse given at Oxford; but to those
times I am as much of an outsider as most of the foremost in them were
outsiders to Oxford in the earlier days. Those times are almost more
important than the history of the movement; for, besides vindicating it,
they carried on its work to achievements and successes which, even in
the most sanguine days of "Tractarianism," had not presented themselves
to men's minds, much less to their hopes. But that story must be told by

"Show thy servants thy work, and their children thy glory."


[124] Compare Mozley's _Reminiscences_, ii. 1-3.

[125] _Christian Remembrancer_, January 1846, pp. 167, 168.

[126] _E.g._ the Warden of Merton's _History of the University of
Oxford,_ p. 212. "The first panic was succeeded by a reaction; some
devoted adherents followed him (Mr. Newman) to Rome; others relapsed
into lifeless conformity; and the University soon resumed its wonted
tranquillity." "_Lifeless_ conformity" sounds odd connected with Dr.
Pusey or Mr. J.B. Mozley, and the London men who were the founders of
the so-called Ritualist schools.


Addresses to Archbishop of Canterbury, by clergy and laity
Anglicanism, its features in 1830
Newman's views on
Newman's interpretation of
_Apologia_, quotations from
Apostolic Succession
Newman's insistence on
its foundation on Prayer Book
Apostolitity of English Church
Archbishop of Canterbury. _See_ Addresses, and Howley
_Arians_, the
Arnold, Dr., theories on the Church
his proposal to unite all sects by law
attack on Tractarians
Professorship at Oxford
his influence shown in rise of third school
Articles, the, and Dissenters
subscription of. _See_ Dr. Hampden, and Thirty-nine Articles

Baptism, Tract on
_Baptistery_, the
Bennett, Mr.
Bentham. _see_ Utilitarianism
Bernard, Mr. Mountague
Bishoprics, suppression of ten Irish
Bishops' attitude to movement
the first Tract on
Blachford, Lord, reminiscences of Froude
Bliss, James
Blomfield, Bishop
British Association, a sign of the times
_British Critic_ on the movement
_British Magazine_
Brougham, Lord
Bunsen, M., and the Bishopric of Jerusalem
Burton, Dr.

Cambridge, critical school of theology
Capes, Mr.
Cardwell, Dr.
Catastrophe, the
Catholicity of English Church
_Catholicus's_ letters to the _Times_
Celibacy, observations on
Celibate clergy scheme
Changes in movement
_Christian Remembrancer_
_Christian Year_
Christianity, Church of England, two schools of
Christie, Albany
Christie, J.F.
Church, the, in eighteenth century
Dr. Whately's theories on
Dr. Arnold's theories
Coleridge's theories
Apostolic origin of
various conceptions of
political attacks on
public mind indifferent to
Dr. Pusey's theories on
theological aspect of
practical aspect of
and the Roman question
Catholicity of
and the doctrine of Development
_Church of the Fathers_
"Churchman's Manual"
Scotch Bishops on
Churton, Mr. (of Crayke)
Claughton, Mr. Piers
Clergy of eighteenth century, character of
Close, Dr. (of Cheltenham)
Coffin, Mr.
Coleridge, Mr. Justice
Coleridge, S.T., influence on Charles Marriott
Church theories
_Conservative Journal_, Newman's language towards Rome
Copeland, William John
Cornish, C.L.
Creeds, the, pamphlets on
authority of

Dalgairns, Mr.
Defeats, the Three, 312-335. _See also_ Isaac Williams,
Macmullen, and Pusey
Dickinson, Dr., "Pastoral Epistle from his Holiness the Pope"
Diffusion of Useful Knowledge Society
Dissenters and the Articles. _See also_ Thirty-nine Articles
Dodsworth, Mr.
Dominic, Father, receives Newman into Church of Rome
Donkin, Mr.
Doyle, Sir F., on Newman's sermons

_Ecclesiologist_ founded
Eden, C.P.
_Edinburgh Review_, article by Dr. Arnold on Tractarians
"Elucidations of Dr. Hampden's Theological Statements"
_English Churchman_ founded
Evangelicism in 1830, character of

Faber, Francis
Faber, Frederic
Fasting, Tract on
Faussett, Dr.
attack on Dr. Pusey
Froude, Richard Hurrell
pupil of Keble
Fellow of Oriel
first meeting with Newman
early estimate of Newman
travels with Newman
influence on the movement
his severe self-discipline


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