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NEWMAN


r98


NEWMAN


as in a dream; in IS")! hrtnok llicoallifl. But he had, in 1S52, addressed Irclaiul on the "Idea of a Univor- eity" with suclj a hiiKciu'.ss and lihcrality of view as Oxford, if we may Ix'hcvc I'altison, liad never taught him. The "Leetures" en<l aluuiilly: they pave him less satisfaetion than any olher of liis works; yet, in conjunetion witli hisbrilliant shoil papers in the "Uni- versity Magazine", and acadeniie dissertations to the various "Sehools", tliey exhibit a range of tliouglil, an urbanity of style, and a iiregnant wit , such as no Hving professor eould liave rivalled. They are the best de- fence of Catholic educational theories in any language; a critic perhaps would describe them as the Via Media between an obscurantism which trami)les on the rights of knowledge and a Free-Thought which will not hear of the rights of revelation. Incidentally, they de- fended the teaching of the classics against a French Puritan clique led by the .Abb6 Gaume. This was pretty much all that Newman achieved during the seven years of his "Campaign in Ireland". Only a few native or English students attended the house in St. Stephen's Green. The bishops were divided, and Archbishop Madlale oi)i)0.sed a severe non possumus to the rector's plans. In administration difficulties sprang up; and t hough Newman won the friendship of Archbishop CuUen and Bishop Moriarty, he was not always treated with due regard. The status of titular bishop had been promised him; for reasons which he never learnt, the [jromise fell through. His feeling towards Ireland was warm and generous; but in Nov., 1858, he retired from the rectorship. Its labours and anxieties had told upon him. Another large enter- prise, to which Cardinal Wiseman invited him only to balk his efforts, was likewise a failure — the revision of the English Catholic Bible. Newman had selected a company of revisors and had begun to accumulate materials, but some small publishers' interests were pleaded on the other side, and Wiseman, whose inten- tions were good, but evanescent, allowed them to wreck this unique opportunity.

During the interval between 1854 and 1860 New- man had passed from the convert's golden fervours into a state which resembled criticism of prevailing methods in church government and education. His friends included some of a type known to history as "Liberal Catholics". Of Montalembert and Lacor- daire he WTote in 1864: "In their general line of thought and conduct I enthusiastically concur and consider them to be before their age." He speaks of "the unselfish aims, the thwarted projects, the unre- quited toils, the grand and tender resignation of La- cordaire". That moving description might be applied to Newman himself. He was intent on the problems of the time and not alarmed at Darwin's "Origin of Species". He had been made aware by German scholars, like Acton, of the views entertained at Mu- nich; and he was keenly sensitive to the difference be- tween North and South in debatable questions of pol- icy or discipline. He looked beyond the immediate future; in a lecture at Dublin on "A Form of Infidel- ity of the Day" he seems to have anticipated what is now termed "Modernism", condemning it as the ruin of dogma. It is distressing to imagine what New- man's horror would have been, had his intuition availed to tell him that, in little more tlian half a cen- tiiry, a "form of infidelity" so much like what he pre- dicted would claim him a.s its originator; on the other hand, he would surely have taken comfort, could he also have foreseen that the soundness of his faith was to be so vindicated as it has been by Bishop O'Dwyer, of Limerick, and above all, the vindication so ap- proved and confirmed as it is in Pius X's letter of 10 March, 1908, to that bishop. In another lecture, on " Chri-stianity and Scientific Investigation", he pro- vides for a concordat which would spare the world a second case of Galileo. He held that Christian theol- ogy was a deductive science, but physics and the like


were inductive; therefore collision between them need not, anil in fac( did not really occur. He resisted in principli' the notion that historical cviilcnic' could do away with the necessity of faith as regarded creeds and definitions. He deprecated the intrusion of amateurs into divinity; but he was anxious that laymen should take their part in the moveiuent of intellect. This led him to encourage J. M. C.ipcs in founding the "Hani- bler", and II. Wilberforce in ediliiigthe " Weekly Reg- ister". But likewise it brought, him face to face with a strong reaction from the earlier liberal policy of Pius IX. This new movement, powerful especially in France, was eagerly taken up by Ward and Manning, who now influenced \\iseman as he sank under a fatal disease. Their quarrel with J. H. N. (as he was familiarly called) did not break out in open war; but much embittered correspondence is lift which proves that, while no point of faith divideil the parties, their dissensions threw back English Cat holic education for thirty years.

These misunderstandings turned on three topics: — the "scientific" history which was cultivated by the "Rambler", with Newman's partial concurrence; the proposed oratory at Oxford; and the temporal power, then at the crisis of its fate. Newman's edi- torship of the "Rambler", accepted, on request of Wiseman, by way of compromise, lasted only two months (May-July, 1859). His article, "On Con- sulting the Laity in Matters of Doctrine", was de- nounced at Rome by Bishop Brown of Newport and Menevia. Leave was given for an Oratorian house at Oxford, provided Newman did not go thither himself, which defeated the whole plan. A sharp review of Manning's "Lectures on the Temporal Power" was attributed to Newman, who neither wrote nor inspired it; and these two illustrious Catholics were never friends again. Newman foresaw the total loss of the temporal power; his fears were justified; but previs- ion and the politics of the day eould not well be united. Of all Christians then living this great genius had the deepest insight into the future; but to his own genera- tion he became as Jeremiah announcing the fall of Jerusalem. Despondency was his prevailing mood when, in January, 1864, from an unex-pected quarter, the chance of his life was given him.

Charles Kingsley, a bold, picturesque, but fiercely anti-Cathohc writer, dealing, in "Macmillan's Maga- zine", with J. A. Fronde's "History of England," let fall the remark that "Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which heaven has given to the Saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which mar- ries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so." These assertions had no foundation whatever in fact. Newman demanded proof; a correspondence ensued in which Kingsley referred to one of the Oxford Anglican sermons generally; he withdrew his charge in terms that left its injustice unreproved; and thus he brought on himself, in the pamphlet which his adversary pub- lished, one of the most cutting replies, ironical and pit- iless, known to literature. He returned to the assault. " What then does Dr. Newman mean? " was his ques- ion. The answer came in the shape of an "Apologia pro Vita sua", which, while pulverizing enemies of the Kingsley stamp, lifted Newman to a height above all his detractors, and added a unique specimen of reli- gious autobiography to our language. Issued in seven parts, between 21 April and 2 June, 1864, the original work was a marvel of swift and cogent writ- ing. Materials in expectation of some such opportu- nity had been collecting since 1862. But the duel which led up to an account of Newman's most inti- mate feelings exhibited sword-play the like of which can be scarcely found outside Pascal's "Provincial