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Brief of 1863. It is an intimation that we are simply to be silent while scientific investigation proceeds, and say not a word on questions of interpretation of Scripture, etc., etc., when perplexed souls ask us.' A strange attitude for a teaching Church! But I am not sure,' he concludes surely with a touch of cynicism—' that it will not prove to be the best way.'
In 1863 his fortunes had reached their ebb. Had the end come then, his career would have lived in history as the saddest of failures; his biography would have been a tragedy.' The standards, social, moral and intellectual, of his co-religionists jarred upon him. Cullen treated him like a scrub'; Manning he distrusted; Wiseman had been 'personally unkind by word and deed.' The ethos of Rome was hateful to him. He had been delated for heresy by an obscure English bishop; this was a reminder that he was in the hands of a power that might crush him, whose touch was 'like the pat of a lion's paw.' The thought of being summoned to give an account of himself before the Roman tribunals haunted him like an evil dream. It meant, he believed, his death. 'It was the punishment of Dr Baines (1840-41) to keep him at the door of Propaganda for a year. This is the prospect which I cannot but feel probable, did I say anything which one Bishop in England chose to speak against and report. Others have been killed before me' (i, 588). To these exterior fears interior conflicts were added; the extract from his journal dated December 15, 1859 (i, 574), can scarcely be read without tears.
With Kingsley's singularly ill-judged attack, and his characteristically effective and adroit answer, the tide turned. Kingsley's main contention was one which has been widely held, and may be fairly argued. His blunder was his use of Newman's name in connexion with it; and the offence was aggravated by his refusal to withdraw his words. The 'Apologia' proved that Newman was a very much abler man than Kingsley-which no one who knew the two doubted; it does not prove more. But the pathos, the delicacy, the charm of his selfrevelation placed him high in the regard of his countrymen, and of the sounder elements in his own Church. He became a person whom it was unsafe to attack. 'Every blow that touches you inflicts a wound on the
Catholic Church in this country,' said the Memorial addressed to him (1867) by the English laity. It was notorious to what quarter the warning was addressed. The reaction which he had foretold had come. He was right when he said: 'I don't think that active and honest minds can remain content under a dull tyranny. It seems impossible that they can remain quiet under the supremacy of Manning and Ward' (i, 566). For the rest of his life he was an immense reserve force in Catholicism. He was believed to have an answer for every difficulty, and a policy for every emergency. He invested the Church with a glamour which effectually disguised her true features; her unreason appeared reason, her narrowness breadth. More than any one man, he destroyed the Protestant legend; more than any one man, he created the Catholic myth. In detail both were unhistorical. But the perspective of the former was correct, and, as Mr Pollard has shown, must be regained.
The Vatican Council brought out Newman's most characteristic qualities. He was not an anti-Infallibilist. He held the doctrine of Papal Infallibility as a theological conclusion-that is, as an inference from premisses one of which at least is an article of faith. But he did not wish to see it defined. A definition of doctrine, he thought, was not 'a luxury of devotion,' but 'a stern, painful necessity'; and in the case of Infallibility no such necessity had been shown. There was nothing inconsistent in this attitude. The great majority of Catholics believe, to take a parallel case, in the Assumption of the Virgin; very few, it is safe to say, wish to see this belief made a dogma of faith. Newman's temper was conservative, and he felt for troubled consciences; the definition, he knew, would give rise to political and religious discussions and raise questions difficult, if not impossible, to solve. The tortuous policy of those who had engineered the situation disgusted him.
'Archbishop Manning tells Mr Odo Russell that its definition has been long intended! Long intended, and yet kept secret! Is this the way the faithful were ever treated before? is this in any sort of sense going back to tradition? For myself, after meditating on such crooked ways, I cannot help turning to our Lord's terrible warning, "Væ mundo a scandalis!" Is it wonderful that we should all be shocked?' (ii, 297).
The Roman cardinals, Infallibilists as they were, and not over-scrupulous, as they had, rightly or wrongly, the name of being, protested against Manning's lobbying. Non ita sunt tractandæ res Ecclesiæ,' said Cardinal Bilio; and the reproach, it seems, was not forgotten by the too zealous prelate to whom it was addressed.
Infallibility, though the most discussed, was not the only problem before the Council; the Canons dealing with Scripture and inspiration were calculated to cause the gravest anxiety. Newman felt that they were drawn up with no adequate regard to the questions which were being raised by contemporary Biblical criticism' (ii, 293). Of these the Bishops were profoundly ignorant; they were like children playing with edged tools, not knowing that they would cut, or with fire, not knowing that it would burn.
'There are two new dogmas in what has been defined about Scripture-first that Scripture is inspired. In the decree of Trent the Apostles are declared to be inspired, and they, thus inspired, are the fountain-head both of tradition and Scripture. Bouvier, I think, says that inspiration in Scripture is not defined, though it is "certissimum." Secondly, that by the "Testamenta" is meant, not the Covenants, but the collection of books constituting the Bible, of which in consequence, as well as of the Covenants, God becomes the 66 Auctor." . . . It seems to me that a perfectly new platform of doctrines is created, as regards our view of Scripture, by these new Canons-so far as this, that, if their primary and surface meaning is to be evaded, it must be by a set of explanations heretofore not necessary. Indeed, the whole Church platform seems to me likely to be off its ancient moorings; it is like a ship which has gradually swung round, or taken up a new position' (ii, 294–5).
Tradition broken down, assent replaced by evasion; was it worth having come so far to find so little ? Was it not impossible either for a church or for the individual believer to stand outside the essential movement of things? After the definition Newman hoped, it appears, for some concerted action on the part of the minority bishops. When none came, he consoled himself by the relative moderation of the formula. Pius has been over-ruled; I believe he wished for a much more stringent dogma than he has got.' And the fall of the
Temporal Power in the same year seemed to him significant. It suggests the thought that to be at once infallible in religion and a despot in temporals is perhaps too great for mortal men' (ii, 380).
Newman's elevation to the cardinalate under Leo XIII, an act at once wise and gracious, was one of the many hopeful signs with which the new reign opened; and it is pleasant to think that in the evening of his days the cloud lifted that had pressed on him so heavily and so long. It was, perhaps, natural that his friends should over-estimate its significance. To the Pope, who did not know English, Newman was little more than a name. The appointment, he was told, would give satisfaction in England; and it was urged upon him by persons whom he wished to oblige. His policy was one of conciliation ; he wished to establish a modus vivendi with civilisation, to make the Papacy (which had fallen into contempt under his predecessor) respected, to heal old sores. More than this he could not do-perhaps would not have done if he could. And his pontificate, important as it was, was an episode; with Pius X the reaction came. Newman did not live to see it. He passed 'ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem' on August 11, 1890.
It is not to be regretted that, disillusioned as he was, and injusta noverca as was the Church of his adoption, he remained a Roman Catholic. The Reformation standpoint was not his; the fiction of Anglo-Catholicism could not have held him. I can understand a Catholic turning Liberal; my imagination fails as to the attempt to turn him into a Puseyite,' he wrote in 1868 (ii, 71); and though his influence led, and still leads, men to what he would have called Liberalism, a Liberal he was not and had never been. Manning was accustomed to say that temper had been his ruin. It would have been truer to say that temperament was the key to his career. It was temperament that led him to the Tractarian Movement, to Rome, and to anti-Vaticanism; the personal factor always plays the decisive part. The vulgarity of Ultramontanism offended him; he was not of that world. The entourage of Pius IX left a bad taste in the mouth. It is impossible to conceive him taking part in such a correspondence as that which passed between Manning and Talbot; anything like an appeal to ignorance was distasteful to him;
he was repelled by the Univers' under Veuillot and the 'Tablet' under Herbert Vaughan. He saw that the policy of the Vatican was over-reaching itself; it was in the interest of Catholicism that he minimised the Syllabus and opposed the Definition of 1870. And 'passus est humani aliquid.' A less sensitive man than he would have resented the succession of slights to which he had been subjected by men notoriously his inferiors mentally and morally. He resented them deeply and bitterly; no one was less disposed than he to suffer gladly either fools or insolence.
He left a profound mark, both on the Church of his birth and on that of his adoption. The Oxford Movement meant a practical religious revival-more zeal, more devotion, more and, in many ways, more efficient work. But its foundation was insecure. In the world of ideas it was a negligible quantity; and though still dominant in the Church and among the clergy, there are signs 'that it has now about reached its height, and that it must soon begin to break up owing to certain internal contradictions which the enthusiasm of its adherents has hitherto masked or ignored.'* The discrepancy between the theory and the facts is too radical to be blinked; the more we learn of Christian origins the more clearly these point to another reading of history. Nor has it increased the influence of the Church in the country. is necessary to insist (since the contrary is so often asserted) that the last seventy years of Church life have been for the Church a period of decline.'t The Church is weaker and Dissent stronger than when the Oxford Movement began. In the Church of Rome Newman's influence has been for breadth and moderation. His philosophy of religion has kept Catholics in the Church who would otherwise have fallen away from her; the doctrine of Probability offered a way of escape to those who were unconvinced by the 'proofs' of the Scholastics; that of Development to those who recognised the gulf which lay between primitive or even patristic Christianity and Rome. It may be a question how far it is desirable to keep men in a church under a misconception of her teaching and tendencies. It is a compromise,
* Dean Inge in 'The Churchman,' February 1912.