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numerus episcoporum';* and the unity which signifies is interior, one of direction and life. The permanent element in religion is not this or that setting which it assumes, and may discard, in history, but the Christian idea. It was, however, on its external side that the conception of unity appealed to Newman; it led him logically and inevitably to Rome. An external Church postulates an external ruler; an external creed an external exponent; an external revelation an external (and, by an easy process of reasoning, an infallible) court of appeal. The deduction is obvious; it is the premisses that are faulty. It has been forgotten that the conceptions employed are abstract, and have no corresponding realities in the world of things. The Catholic notion of the Church is an artificial construction; it exists for thought only. Apply it to the English or any other Reformed Church, and the misfit is palpable, the conception breaks down. With the Roman Catholic Church the want of correspondence, though no less real, is less obvious. Its great scale, its apparent antiquity, its lofty pretensions, and, above all, the magic of the mighty name of Rome, make it possible for those who are ignorant of one half of the facts and misconceive the other to fit them to the theory.
It seems absurd to speak of ignorance in connexion with so eminent a man as Newman. But the Oxford of his time was, as has been said, provincial, and his learning, compared with that of men like Thirlwall or Milman, moderate. If, as Mr Ward tells us, Döllinger spoke of his knowledge of the first three centuries as 'almost unrivalled,' it can only be accounted for by remembering that these centuries were not Döllinger's special period; and that at the time (1857) they were, particularly to Catholic scholars, an almost unexplored field. Pattison judged differently.
The force of his dialectic, and the beauty of his rhetorical exposition were such that one's eye and ear were charmed, and one never thought of enquiring on how narrow a basis of philosophical culture his great gifts were expended. A. P. Stanley once said to me, "How different the fortunes of the Church of England might have been, if Newman had been
*Tertullian, 'De Pudic.,' 21.
able to read German!" That puts the matter in a nutshell; Newman assumed and adorned the narrow basis on which Laud had stood two hundred years before. All the grand development of human reason, from Aristotle down to Hegel, was a sealed book to him. There lay a unity, a unity of all thought, which far transcended the mere mechanical association of the unthinking members of the Catholic Church; a great spiritual unity by the side of which all sects and denominations shrink into vanity.'*
This is why, great as was his weight with a section of the religious world-and even of this world it was but a section-the trained intellect of his time passed him by. To the representatives of English speculation and science, to the historians, the poets, the men of letters who were his contemporaries, he was no more than a name.
Did he know what the Roman Church and her clergy were when he seceded?
'Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Meliboe, putavi
The rift soon declared itself, and increased with years. By the old English Catholics he was impressed favourably. They were not at all in good odour at Rome,† where less wholesome influences were in the ascendant; but they were moderate, devout, and often well read. 'Everything I saw impressed me with the idea of simplicity,' he writes from St. Edmund's; at Oscott he notices, good-humouredly, that the punch-'they said again and again that it was made of lemon and sugar '— was 'remarkably stiff,' and that he was obliged to dilute it freely; at Prior Park, 'I do not think it is a school of perfection, but of sensible as well as earnest religion'; Dr Brindle is a gentleman in the true sense of the term.' + Even then, however, these old-fashioned priests were dying out. The needs of the growing Catholic body called for an increase in the number of clergy; the substitution of English and Irish for foreign seminaries lowered both the training and the type. With this depreciation of standard went an exaltation of temper, an exaggeration of language, and an extravagance of aim. Wiseman's Pastoral from out the Flaminian Gate' was
* Memoirs, p. 210.
† Ward, i, 174.
Ib. i, 103, 104, 110.
an example. Pius IX waged open war against civilisation; Manning informed his Anglo-Irish clergy that it was their mission 'to subdue an Imperial race.' Ritual was developed; novel Italian devotions were encouraged; Faber wrote of the Mother of the Saviour as 'Dearest Mamma.' To Catholics of the traditional type, whether clergy or laity, these follies were profoundly distasteful. 'To try to transform "Englishmen into Romans," was, in Lingard's opinion, as undesirable as it was impracticable. And he expressed the devout wish that the subject for discussion at Dr Wiseman's soirées might be, "How to send away those swarms of Italian congregationists who introduce their own customs, and by making religion ridiculous in the eyes of Protestants prevent it from spreading here.'
Newman shared this view. He distrusted these tendencies; he recognised their futility, and foresaw their results. He was not, needless to say, what is now called a Modernist; he was not even, in the sense in which Acton was, a Liberal Catholic. He was, at most, a semi-Liberal: but from circumstances the leadership of the Cave of Adullam in which the disaffected congregated became his. When that egregious person Monsignor Talbot wrote to Manning, 'To be Roman is to an Englishman an effort. Dr Newman is more English than the English. His spirit must be crushed,' the new Archbishop answered: 'What you write about Dr Newman is true. . . . He has become the centre of those who hold low views about the Holy See, are anti-Roman, cold and silent, to say no more, about the Temporal Power, national, English, critical of Catholic devotions, and always on its lower side. . . . I see much danger of an English Catholicism, of which Newman is the highest type. It is the old Anglican, patristic, literary, Oxford tone transplanted into the Church. It takes the line of deprecating exaggerations, foreign devotions, Ultramontanism, antinational sympathies. In one word, it is worldly Catholicism, and it will have the worldly on its side.'†
Newman had no wish to lead the disaffected; there was indeed a time at which he inclined to the other side. When Faber and his community of Wilfridians joined
*Life and Letters of John Lingard,' p. 353,
him (1848), he threw himself, probably with a certain effort, into their ideas. He Italianised indiscriminately; he used deliberately hurtful and offensive language about the English Church. As years went on such language became less congenial to him,' Mr. Ward tells us (i, 204); and with regard to popular devotions he fell back upon the more sober view. But his credulity was amazing. He is indignant at a doubt as to St Winifrid having carried her head after decapitation; we saw the blood of St Patrizia half liquid, i.e. liquefying, on her feast day'; he accepts the legend of the miraculous transit of the Holy House of Loreto-'if you ask me why I believe it, it is because everyone believes it at Rome' (i, 198). Mr Ward complains that the whole philosophical ground for his readiness to believe was passed over by Kingsley without notice. It will seem to most of us that a philosophy which produces such fruits cannot be taken seriously. Nor is the habit of mind which it engenders speculative only; superstition passes over inevitably from the speculative to the moral sphere. Perhaps the strangest conclusion ever put upon a well-known Pauline phrase occurs in a letter (i, 241) written by him at this period. 'To feel yourself surrounded by all holy arms and defences, with the Sacraments week by week, with the Priests' Benedictions, with crucifixes and rosaries which have been blessed, with holy water, with places or with acts to which Indulgences have been attached, and the "whole Armour of God" what can one ask, what can one desire more than this?' Contrast this with the interpretation given to the words by their author. The whole difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is here.
This phase of fetishism was not lasting. It seems to have been reasoned rather than instinctive; this is probably what Mr Ward means by speaking of a 'philosophical ground' in connexion with it. With Newman reasoning invariably degenerated into sophistry; when he did not reason, he saw men and their motives, events and their drift, clearly enough. Any illusions which he may have entertained as to the wisdom of Rome were soon dispelled. No one knew what to do with him. He was placed in the College of the Propaganda with Syrian and Armenian seminarists-'a whole troop of blackaVol, 216.—No, 431,
moors,' Father Neville calls them; he wonders 'what they will make of me, and whether they will find me out.' The state of ecclesiastical studies was a shock to him. 'He found, to his surprise, that both St Thomas and Aristotle were out of favour in Rome. Philosophising in general was suspect'; they remembered Lamennais, and were confirmed in their distaste for ideas. Theology was in little better case. Perrone scarcely went beyond catechetics; no one read English; Dalgairns had to arrange for the translation of the 'Essay on Development' into French. This famous treatise had been taken up by certain Unitarian writers in Boston; and the American bishops were up in arms against it. "Of course they know nothing of antiquity, or of the state of the case,' was Newman's comment; in Rome they knew little, and, he found, cared less. Words meant much to them; ideas little. Their minds were full of contemporary controversies, which they viewed from the standpoint of policy. His language on Probability suggested Hermes; on Faith, Bautain; the Development theory started from the side of psychology rather than of logic; 'Newman miscet et confundit omnia,' was their view. The professors who 'are said to sway the theology of Rome are introducing bits (without having seen the whole book), bits of my Essay into their lectures to dissent from. This seems very absurd.' It was. But had they read the book from cover to cover it would have made no difference; they had neither understanding of nor interest in these things.
The Essay was an attempt to meet an obvious difficulty. The traditional appeal of the Catholic apologist was to antiquity. The notion of the perpetuity of the faith was vital to him; he transported the beliefs and usages of the modern into the primitive Church. They were not there. No, no' (as Hooker says); 'these opinions have youth in their countenance; antiquity knew them not, it never dreamed of them.' Newman was aware
of this. But he was faced by a dilemma. Neither the Vincentian canon, 'quod semper, quod ubique et ab omnibus,' nor the obligation incumbent on Catholics to interpret Scripture according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers,' admits divergence; yet divergence there un
* Eccl. Pol.,' vi, 4 (13).