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questionably was. He fell back upon the argument by which Petavius had reconciled Ante- and Post-Nicene orthodoxy; the latter was implicit in the former, and was developed by the natural logic of ideas. Newman interpreted this theory in a wider sense and used it on a larger field. He granted large variations of teaching in the course of the Church's 1800 years. 'Nevertheless,' he argued, these, on examination, will be found to arise from the nature of the case, and to proceed on a law and with a harmony and a definite drift which constitute an argument in their favour, as witnessing to a superintending Providence and a great design in the mode and in the circumstances of their occurrence.' Some such way of escape was forced upon him; but it opened a wide, a very wide, door. The Roman divines, shrewd men of the world as they were, saw this, and would have none of it; on the other hand, their knowledge of history was too small to show them the impossibility of the traditional view. They lived, after their sort, for the moment; they disliked discussion; things would last their time.
It is impossible to suppose that so acute a mind as Newman's had overlooked the applications of which his theory was capable. But it was none of his business to point them out; he used it for a particular purpose, and no further; let others see to the rest. His apologetic was often reckless. Of Transubstantiation he writes:
'I cannot, indeed, prove it; I cannot tell how it is; but I say, "Why should it not be? What's to hinder it? What do I know of substance or matter? Just as much as the greatest philosophers; and that is nothing at all." . . . The Catholic doctrine leaves phenomena alone . . . it deals with what no one on earth knows anything about, the material substances themselves.' ('Apologia,' cap. v.)
The formula is saved by being emptied of meaning. On such reasoning anything may be anything else, and everything nothing. Οὐ φροντὶς Ιπποκλείδῃ. Perrone admitted the principle of development; and Mr Ward (i, 185) argues that the difference between his view and Newman's was one almost entirely of expression.' No; what Perrone meant was a logical unfolding; Newman,
* Development,' Preface to ed. 3 (1878).
guarded as his language often is, held an organic process. For him ideas are still unfinished. The world is still in the making, and mankind is in the making too.'* The conceptions differ materially; the latter admits of, and even invites, applications which the former excludes. A philosophy or a belief
necessarily arises out of an existing state of things, and for a time savours of the soil.' Its vital element needs disengaging from what is foreign and temporary, and is employed in efforts after freedom which become more vigorous and hopeful as its years increase. Its beginnings are no measure of its capabilities, nor of its scope. At first no one knows what it is, or what it is worth. It remains perhaps for a time quiescent; it tries, as it were, its limbs, and proves the ground under it, and feels its way. From time to time it makes essays which fail, and are in consequence abandoned. It seems in suspense which way to go; it wavers, and at length strikes out in one definite direction. In time it enters upon strange territory; points of controversy alter their bearing; parties rise and fall around it; dangers and hopes appear in new relations; and old principles reappear under new forms. It changes with them in order to remain the same. In a higher world it is otherwise; but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.' † So spoke Faust to Margaret in the garden! Not only Roman theologians demurred. He places Christianity on the edge of a precipice, from whence a bold and strong hand would throw it over,' wrote Mr Gladstone; and Manning, then an Anglican, 'I am persuaded that Bishop Butler, if he were alive, would in his quiet way tear the whole argument into shreds. Is it not a refuge for the destitute, who can find no shelter in antiquity? It seems as if the thought of the regula fidei, and the tradition of dogma, and the whole oral confession of the faith seldom if ever crossed his mind.'‡ They were right. Valid and inevitable as it is, the Development theory can only be used by those who are prepared to follow it out to its conclusions. Rome saw this from the first; and in our own time, though Newman's name was not mentioned, both it and his
* W. R. Inge, 'The Church and the Age,' p. 36,.
+ Essay on Development,' p. 40.
Purcell, 'Life of Manning,' i, 311-315,
doctrine of Probability have been repudiated. In the Syllabus of 1907 and the Encyclical by which it was followed the Church fell back upon the old lines.
Never was man so various. A primer of infidelity, said Huxley, could be compiled from his works. But so could one of belief; of Ultramontanism and Cisalpinism; of traditionalism and science. Each of these opposites appealed to a side of his complex personality, and he threw himself into each with ardour. This made him a frondeur; he was a man with whom it was difficult to deal. Mr Ward compares his attitude towards the controversies of his day to that of Fénelon under similar circumstances. The comparison is apt. But we recall Bossuet's comment on his great rival: 'M. de Cambrai continue à faire le soumis de l'air du monde le plus arrogant.'* That his views were disapproved in Rome is not wonderful. In Ireland his aim was to found a university; what the bishops wanted was a seminary on a larger scale. He desired to see Roman Catholics at Oxford; the Church, having pronounced against mixed education, declined to make an exception in favour of Englishmen of the upper and upper middle classes. In 1870 he opposed the definition of a dogma whose truth he did not call in question; Rome, with a desperate logic, defined it and defied fate. Our sympathy goes out to him-how could it be otherwise?-as we read Mr Ward's record of the rebuffs, slights and insults which he experienced. The story is not calculated to encourage secession; and, if we feel that he should have known better than to secede, that the bondage under which he suffered was self-chosen and one from which he could have freed himself, we may remember that a man is often his own gaoler; the tyrannies from which escape is most difficult are imposed from within. Mr Ward's contention is that these exterior trials did not affect his interior contentment. It may have been so. He protested that it was; and there is nothing to make us think that he ever questioned the ecclesiastical setting of Christianity, or the fact that this setting, if taken as authoritative, means Rome. But he made no secret of his disillusionment; and it is not surprising that he was
* Cf. The French Ideal,' by Mme Duclaux, p. 191.
believed to regret his secession, and even to have contemplated retracing his steps. He denied this in a vehemently-worded letter to a newspaper; but, in view of his similar, and subsequently retracted, disclaimer of the famous phrase, 'an aggressive and insolent faction,' in his letter to Bishop Ullathorne, the contradiction is not conclusive. His good faith in each case is beyond question. But moods vary, and memory plays men false. What is certain is that, if his divine faith in the Church remained unshaken, his human belief in her broke down. 'I have been accustomed to believe that, over and above that attribute of infallibility which attached to the doctrinal decisions of the Holy See, a gift of sagacity had in every age characterised its occupants; so that we might be sure... that what the Pope determined was the very measure or the very policy expedient for the Church of the time. . . . I am obliged to say that a sentiment which history has impressed upon me, and impresses still, has been very considerably weakened as far as the present Pope, Pius IX, is concerned, by the experience of the results of the policy which his chosen councillors have led him to pursue.' (Life, i, 388.)
Buoyancy was gone for ever: 'confidence in any superiors could never blossom in him again.' His thoughts went back wistfully to his old friends, to Oxford and to the past. The effect of this was far-reaching. He saw in the Roman Church the one ark of shelter from the flood of unbelief which, he thought, was rising and would rise 'till only the tops of the mountains were seen.' And now this ark, he saw, was unseaworthy. This was not the view of a malcontent. So strong an Ultramontane as W. G. Ward complained of our miserable state of intellectual degradation.' The whole philosophical fabric which occupies our colleges is rotten,' he wrote, 'from the floor to the roof. No one who has not been mixed up practically in a seminary would imagine to how great an extent it intellectually debauches the students' minds' (i, 473). Acton spoke of an illiterate episcopate, an ignorant clergy, a prejudiced and divided laity'; Manning of 'the incapacity of the Holy Office, the essential injustice of its procedure and its secrecy.' The system was shallow, pretentious and worldly.
* Purcell, Life, ii, 583.
'With the Cardinal [Wiseman] immediate show is fruit, and conversions the sole fruit. At Propaganda conversions, and nothing else, are the proof of doing anything. They must be splendid conversions of great men, noblemen, learned men, not simply of the poor. At Rome they have had visions of the whole of England coming over to the Church, and their notion of the instrumentality of this conversion en masse is the conversion of persons of rank. Il governo is all in all in their ideas. Such an idea is perhaps even conveyed in our Brief, which sends us [the Oratorians] to the upper classes.' The jurisdiction of the Crown in Council had been exchanged for that of Propaganda. What had been gained? Propaganda was styled by Newman himself (i, 560)
'an arbitrary, military power. Propaganda is our only Court of Appeal; but to it the Bishops go, and secure it and commit it, before they move one step in the matter which calls for interference. And how is Propaganda to know anything about an English controversy, since it talks Italian? by extempore translation (I do not speak at random) or the ex parte assertion of some narrow-minded Bishop? . . . And who is Propaganda? virtually, one sharp man of business, who works day and night, and dispatches his work quick off, to the East and the West; a high dignitary, indeed, perhaps an Archbishop, but after all little more than a clerk, or (according to his name) a Secretary, and two or three clerks under him. In this age, at least, "Quantula sapientia regimur!"'
He would not, however, go beyond passive resistance. Acton never forgave his desertion of the Rambler' at a critical moment. His own view was that circumstances tied his hands. He would not co-operate with what appeared to him an aggressive and insolent faction'; nor would he, on the other hand, act in direct opposition to an authority which, though misused, he believed to be legitimate, and which even Acton was not prepared to resist to the end. The same dilemma has presented itself in more recent controversies. Unless a man is prepared to carry it through, opposition resolves itself into a game of bluff between the two parties, which is at once futile and undignified. If he means to retract, when called upon in a sufficiently menacing tone to do so, he had better have held his tongue. That this was Newman's view appears from his comment on the Munich