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larly a Christian man, to suspend his judgment and wait for light, rather than make bold asseverations amidst the darkness.
It is this craving for assertion which has exposed Dr. Newman to the charge of untruthfulness—a charge to which we owe the very interesting history of
his religious opinions. No one who understands anything of his genius and character could suppose for a moment that he is capable of wilfully misrepresenting or denying the truth. But we must say that he is equally incapable of finding it. He did not deny-nay he instinctively felt—that Paris was beautiful in 1832; but then he would not look upon it. He hated the place and all its associations, and his only wish was to get away from it as fast as he could. This is exactly, in a figure, what he has been doing all his days as a religious writer and thinker. Whenever a view is distasteful to him he refuses to look at it. He not deliberately misinterpret what is out of harmony with his own mental feeling ; but he never tries to understand it. He never calmly faces and examines it; but as soon as he sees the faintest flutter of the tricolor of thought he shuts himself up from the painful sight.
It is only such wilful blindness can explain the audacious statements which occur more or less in all his writings, but in some more than others. Every historical student acquainted with his sketch of the · Arians of the Fourth Century,' and his essay on the • Development of Christian Doctrine,' will know what we mean. Fallacies of thought are a common weakness. The strongest and best-intentioned may be held by them. But fallacies of historical assertion urged with a quiet and scornful pertinacity always indicate that peculiar turn of mind which refuses to open to the light, and which, brilliant though it may often be, is essentially unsound-destitute of health and balance of force. The instinct of fairness seems to die out of such mental characters; and so far from its being a wonder that they pass over to Romanism--the wonder really is that they ever escape this destination when inspired by religious enthusiasm. To extreme onesidedness
. Dr. Newman adds a certain feminine turn of mind which is hardly characteristic of a great writer. While he moves by his audacity and logical élan-by the mingled delicacy and dash with which he handles a subject
- he never moves by robustness and mass of thought. His handling is never that of a large and powerful grasp. The fearless manliness of a writer like Chillingworth has been always
hateful to him and his friends; and they are at no pains to conceal their hatred. It is remarkable indeed the fascina
tion of dislike with which this powerful writer inspires thein. They are full of allusions to him and profess no measure of scorn for his famous dictum about the Religion of Protes* tants ; ' but it is the scorn that is kin to fear. None of them have ever ventured to grapple with his great argument.
This feminine turn was more or less a feature of all the Oxford School. It was in some degree a reaction from the rough strength and hard, homely sense of Whately and others ; but it was also natural to the genius of the men themselves. There was a delicacy of thought in them all -- beautiful in itself, but apt to grow into weakness of a very arbitrary and disagreeable kind unless enriched and fortified by knowledge and breadth of sympathy. The companionship of Oriel, the seclusion of Littlemore, and the sweet serenity of Hursely Parsonage were delightful influences, and they have left enduring traces of beauty on our religious literature ; but there was a dangerous softness in the atmosphere of all the three places, which tended to refine rather than to brace the mental constitution. Their very quietness and retirement served to draw out characteristic weaknesses, and to nurse certain mental asceticisms which like all other asceticisms are deeply injurious in the pride of their humility. The simplicity that shuns the public gaze, and the refinement that shelters itself within academic or clerical precincts, may be charming; but all experience proves that no sentiment is fully healthy which does not face the hard facts of humanity and the plain broad instincts of common men and women. It requires contact with the world and knowledge of the life of manful toil and passion which is lived in it, to give that touch of truth which is higher than everything else to all other training and experience whatever. The Oxford School, with all their culture and learning, never came to the knowledge of this truth; nor did they ever learn to be ashamed of their ignorance. Wrapt up in their own dreams--in an intellectual paradise of their own-they contracted their vision instead of enlarging it; and even so consummate an intellect as that of Dr. Newman has gathered marks of effeminacy from this spiritual fondling. It has strengthened in him-as it so notably did in Keble—the habit of self-communing and self-analysis which, while it has given life and interest to their writings, is so unsatisfactory when made to stand, as it is so often made by them to stand, in place of a broader intellectual treatment. Never were men more afraid of the right of private judgment, and yet never did men more uniformly apply the tests of their own private personal experience to the solution of religious questions. Dr. Newman's VOL. CXXXII. NO, CCLXX.
present volume is a striking illustration of this very habit. While disclaiming all pretensions to be metaphysical, it quietly begs, on the basis of his own experience, a whole world of metaphysics. He keeps saying 'I am not a metaphysician,
and I have no pretensions that way. I am content with the comparatively humble task of stating my own experience.' And the reader cannot help being touched by such humility from such a writer. But he cannot also help being disappointed when he finds this humility combined with the most arbitrary definitions of our intellectual nature and the most confident assumptions as to the conditions of its working.
Dr. Newman and his school show another characteristic weakness intimately allied with that of which we have been speaking. He is not merely reverential towards certain great names. True reverence, as in the case of Hooker, is frequently a mark of the noblest type of intellect. When reverence is paid to the highest objects and the finest expressions of human thought consecrated by the homage of generations, it is a grace which lends to genius softening and lustre. But deference to personal names and influences is not in itself deserving of respect. It may be a mere foolish devoteeism. And Dr. Newman and his friends were not free of this. In all his History of his Religious Opinions we do not remember that he ever puts the issue straight before him-Is this thing true ? He never examines questions in their rational essence, or makes it his first thought that he shall find the truth whatever names be on this side or that. Magis amica veritas is a sentiment unknown to him. But he tells us copiously, and with the utmost frankness, the persons who affected and coloured his intellectual life, and swayed his beliefs hither and thither. Passing for a moment from the intellectual character of these friends, and the question whether it was such as to warrant the influence which he ascribes to them, the fact deserving of emphasis is, that it was not any pure force of ideas represented by them so much as the mere strength of their opinionativeness and the confidence of their dogmatisms which impressed him. His words are:
• It is difficult to enumerate the precise additions to my theological creed which I derived from a friend (Hurrell Froude) to whom I owe so much. He taught me to look with admiration towards the Church of Rome, and in the same way to dislike the Reformation. He fixed deep in me the idea of devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and he led me gradually to believe in the Real Presence.' *
History of Religious Opinions, p. 25.
And during the whole of his university career and long afterwards it is the same story. Dr. Newman's religious belief is always receiving additions' or impressions from without rather than enlightenment and growth from within. From Newton on the Prophecies he learned that the Pope was the • Antichrist predicted by Daniel, St. Paul and St. John,' and his imagination was stained by the effect of this doctrine up • to the year 1843.' Dr. Whately first taught him the existence of the Church as a “substantive body or corporation. From Dr. Hawkins he learned the doctrine of Tradition. The Rev. William James, then a fellow of Oriel, imparted to him the doctrine of Apostolical Succession in the course of a walk
round Christ Church meadow. Butler’s ‘ Analogy' comes in for mention merely along with the Rev. William James and Dr. Hawkins. The influence of Keble and of Hurrell Froude is more intelligible. The latter was a man of genius; but, as his • Remains' show, his genius was of a singularly irrational type, and exercised an influence on his friends mainly from the mere force and intensity of its passion and prejudice. With so many in all English lands we join in a genuine admiration of Mr. Keble's sweetly affectionate and beautiful character, and the tender exquisite spirituality of many of his Lyrics, toned so delicately that they do not jar on religious feeling however diverse from their own, even when they fail to refresh and inspire it; but with the utmost respect for so good a man, we must say that we have seldom encountered an intel lect less expansive in its range or less catholic in its sympathies. His life, as recently described, presents a beautiful but extremely contracted picture-of idyllic simplicity and purity, yet also petty and painfully minute in outline; the lines drawn with an almost superstitious formalism. It
be true that the reverential and the scrupulous side of life is not likely to be overdone in a time like ours; but reverence fails in dignity when it falls below the highest objects, and scruples should concern life and its duties and not the sensibilities of the religious closet, or the inanities—the res inepta-of Anglican Tradition.
Newman's reverence for Keble was unbounded. It took the form of awe. When one day an eager friend pointed out to him the future Christian Lyrist in the High Street of Oxford, exclaiming. There's Keble -- with what awe,' he says, * did I look on him.' Such a feeling, however amiable, becomes a weakness when prolonged beyond the undergraduate stage. It is unhealthy both in its morbid excess and no less in the morbid depreciation in other directions which it is sure to breed. For it is the same mind that stands in awe of Keble which a year or two later asks of Arnold, when some one referred to a certain interpretation by him of Scripture as Christian—but is "he a Christian'? * Reverence for truth can never be too strong, nor even reverence for great teachers who have enlarged our perception of truth and enriched the great common stock of rational and spiritual ideas which govern the world in its highest types of civilisation. Such a form of reverence is one of the noblest flowers in the culture of any school or university. But there are few things less becoming cr less useful than a deference which exalts the mere personal characteristics of friends or teachers and becomes the servant of the letter' rather than of the spirit.'
Oxford with all her distinctions can scarcely lay claim to any peculiar success in the culture of the higher order of reverence.
She has flouted rather than welcomed some of the greatest ideas which have entered into the modern life of humanity. Even when she has caught hold of a genuine movement of thought, it is curious how apt she has been to hold to it on its lower personal side, rather than its higher ideal side; and to found a sect of followers rather than a school of opinion. She has never been quick in affinity with the catholic range of speculation, nor readily inspired by an enthusiasm for its higher conceptions. She has kept at home and made much of her own thoughts. Not merely in 1833, when to the
eager band of Tractarians Christianity scarcely seemed to have existence apart from Anglo-Catholic formulas and the via media, but at other times, her intellectual egoism has been excessive and concentered. The habit suits her. She is apt to fancy that the world of opinion must nod to her inclinations. But selfcomplacency is a poor nursery of ideas. So soon as opinions become interesting not for their own sake and higher spirit, and their quickening connexion with the circle of human thought, but on account of the persons who hold them or their casual expression, they begin to lose health and muscle. The intellectual or spiritual movement sinks into a coterie. What seemed a commencing wave in the long advance of human reason or in the eddying tide of religious history dwindles into a feeble agitation on some side pool of the national life. The Oxford movement of 1833 was far from feeble in its results; it was too intense and real for this; it met too strong an awakening of the national mind and conscience. But even its early enthusiasm and self-sacrifice
* History of Religious Opinions, p. 34.