Analysis of Dr. Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua: with a glance at the history of Popes, Councils, and the Church.

J. N. Darby.

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I had no thought of even reading Dr. Newman's Apologia pro Vita sua. I know pretty well, in theory and practice, what Romanism is; and the history of the popes is open to every one. But the book has been put into my hands by others, and so far pressed upon me; and I have read it: I cannot say it has won my respect. It has certain charms about it; and the present state of things clothes it with interest. I think it likely to attract and win no small number of minds. There is a seeming candour on the surface, and men's minds are prepared for it, and "quod volumus facile credimus." The circle of university affections is most powerful, formed as they are, just when the heart is fresh and growing to manhood and amiable; and the reference to them is one of the attractive points of Dr. Newman's book, but cannot decide what salvation and the church of God are. If we penetrate below the surface, I do not think the charm of the book remains. The reader must judge when we shall have examined it together.

The secret of the course of Dr. Newman's mind is this — it is sensuous;* and so is Romanism. He never possessed the truth, nor, in the process he describes, sought it: he had never found rest or peace in his own soul, nor sought it where it is to be found, according to the holiness of God. He sank into that system where the mind often finds quiet from restless search after repose, when wearied in judging for itself, but never peace with God. This is positively denied and denounced in the Roman Catholic system. In his search he was never — and this difference is all-important — on the true ground or principle of true faith at all. These things his book shews.

{*No reader must confound this with sensual.}

From the first Oxford influences he came under, he had a horror of Protestantism. I understand that horror. How earnestly, when I was in the state I have referred to elsewhere in these pages, I should have disowned, and did disown, that name! I looked for the church. Not having peace in my soul, nor knowing yet where peace is, I too, governed by a morbid imagination, thought much of Rome, and its professed sanctity, and catholicity, and antiquity — not of the possession of divine truth and of Christ myself. Protestantism met none of these feelings, and I was rather a bore to my clergyman by acting on the rubrics. I looked out for something more like reverend antiquity. I was really much in Dr. Newman's state of mind. But such a feeling as to Protestantism is shallow, and little founded on fact. I do not think, now, that Protestantism has restored the church to purity. It did not see, I judge, the true doctrine of the church, any more than Dr. Newman. Protestantism occupied itself with the positive evils in doctrine and practice that pressed upon men's consciences, and did the best it knew how in raising national churches so-called. Still its nature is misapprehended. As to the word 'Protestantism,' it came from the act of several German princes at the second Diet of Spires. The previous Diet of Spires had left each prince free in his own dominions as to religious matters. At the second the emperor, having settled matters with the pope, succeeded with the legate in getting this rescinded. Nothing was to be changed till the general council was held. The principal northern princes and many free cities protested, nor held the recess for valid, as it was passed only by a majority when they had left. Further, on the Continent, half those separated from Rome are not called Protestants but Reformed. The Lutherans are Protestants.

146 But the matter lies deeper than all this. It is a past history; but it is well it should be known. Protestantism practically broke out about indulgences. The pope, infallible according to Dr. Newman, the centre of infidelity in fact at that time when infidelity was the fashion at Rome, had set the sale of indulgences on foot to get money to build St. Peter's. The sale was farmed out, through the Archbishop of Mayence, to the Fuggers; and the well-known Tetzel, in Germany, and Samson, in Switzerland, were the agents for the sale. But of this hereafter.

I do not enter on the sparring between Mr. Kingsley and Dr. Newman. To say the truth, I think it poor and low on both sides. If Mr. K. thinks Dr. N. dishonest, all this shillyshallying about gentlemen's points of honour is folly. The eternal truth of God is beyond this fencing. If he thought in his heart Dr. N. told the truth, he should not seek to prove that he did not by subsequent writings. If he did not, there is affectation in treating of points of honour. All this is below the dignity and seriousness of an inquiry into God's truth.

147 On the other hand, Dr. N. is vexed and undignified too; his blots, one, two, etc., are poor, and, as I judge, a failure — undignified, and often very poor in reasoning and tone. That he was vexed with being charged with dishonesty, one can conceive; but vexation is a bad counsellor. I say, poor in reasoning. To take an example, what analogy is there between accepting devoutly a false historical statement, and Sir D. Brewster's dreams of inhabitants in the stars? This is a very poor come-off. The author of St. Augustine's life says, with the evident wish it should be so, that a statement, historically false, but which has serious effects on the whole state of mind of him who believes it, "will not be without effect on the devout mind," and that "it has been received as a pious opinion." It is admitted, that the alleged visit of Peter, which is to have this effect, is a pretended visit; but devout minds will be influenced by what has been received as a pious opinion. It is "to be kept quite distinct from documentary evidence," but to have its effect. This Dr. N. tells us is sober. Is it sober to look for the effect of a confessed lying legend on the mind, as a pious opinion? Now the legend has for its object to exalt Peter, and Rome through him. For this purpose falsehoods have been told, and minds encouraged in receiving them; and it is a pious opinion to believe it, and not without effect. This Dr. Newman tells us, is a sober judgment, because it is said it is to be kept distinct from documentary and historic proof. That people may have believed it piously, I may admit; but to justify the reception of a confessedly false legend as a pious opinion, saying that it will have its effect on devout minds, I cannot call sober. It is a proof of what Romanists consider devoutness and piety. It proves another thing, how early the church was deceived by falsehoods; for we are here told, that Innocent I (A.D. 416) lets us know, that it was then received as a pious opinion, "that St. Peter was instrumental in the conversion of the west generally." We do get, not sobriety, but a specimen of the kind of thing called devoutness and piety. I have mentioned, however, this part of the book only to say, that while I think it poor in reasoning, it is of a character which in detail calls for no remark. What is important is mainly elsewhere, and to that I turn.*

{*I find, on my return to England, that Dr. Newman has suppressed all this in his second edition. He has judged, I suppose, as I do, or received counsel to that effect. I have judged rightly in not noticing it. But as many most probably will have the edition I had in writing this, and the point itself has its importance, I leave the paragraph as it is.}

148 It is written, that there will be a falling away, an apostasy; and, though faith may be answered in arresting judgment, when impending, no efforts of ours will avert finally the predicted evil. This evil will, we are told, have a double character in the course of its development: the form of godliness and denial of its power or religious evil, and open denial of Christianity or infidelity; superstitious idolatrous religiousness, devoid of spiritual truth, and open infidelity.

It is a singular, but providentially a notable fact, that two brothers should be eminently conspicuous in these two forms of evil. Mr. F. Newman has given his personal history in his progress to infidelity; Dr. Newman, in his progress in falling into popery. There are some passages almost literally identical in their form. The fact, of course, would have been the same, whoever it might have been; but, as striking in its effect on the mind, two brothers being representatives of the double form of departure from the truth is, I repeat, providentially remarkable. The more so, as they have both come forward to account for it, not by any direct reasoning as to the truth or falsehood of what they have left or fallen into; but, in each case, in the way in which their minds were filled with it, that is, by an account of themselves. Both have known how to render their books attractive, and themselves attractive by them; both of them unquestionably able men, but I do not, for my own part, think possessed of any depth of moral perception: I speak entirely from their respective works, of course. I do not put them on a par; I must say I think the low, and what I must call filthy, insinuations of Mr. F. Newman in his "Phases of Faith," ought, though but short and occasional, to have at once condemned the whole book, and the state of mind of the writer, in every mind that had a spark of elevation, any sense of what is of good report, of what is comely and pure. From such a reproach Dr. N. is entirely clear; I shall defer pronouncing any judgment of his book till I have examined its contents. One thing is striking in both; they seek to persuade us by shewing, in their respective books, that they were wrong, and had each of them to give up everything he held on the points in question. This is singular. Each of these books shews us a mind step by step giving up what they held as true, and finding they were wrong at each step. This has an air of candour. But did it lead them to distrust themselves? Quite the contrary. They would have us embrace the conclusions they have come to, and in which they profess to have the greatest confidence, though in every previous step they had found themselves wrong. Mr. F. N. has given up Christianity altogether, and gives us the phases of his discoveries of mistake after mistake given up; Dr. N., the apology for his life, in which he has relinquished, not the general truths of Christianity, no doubt, but all he once held on the particular points in question. It does seem to me that this shews, not confidence in the truth (for what they supposed such they gave up), but the attaching an immense importance to their own views — I am afraid I must say, to themselves, meaning by that, to the processes of their own minds.

149 I have no doubt that there is a direct action of the enemy of souls in all this — of Satan. On this I do not enlarge; but I am bound to say so. But is it not singular that I should put forward the discovery of my being wrong in everything I held, not as a lowly acknowledgement of error, but seeking thereby confidence in the conclusion I have arrived at as a motive to influence other minds, and that they should be influenced by it, and attracted to the persons who thus acquaint the public so very elaborately with all that has passed, as they tell us, in their minds? The public, no doubt, likes confidences, likes secret histories; and here it has them, and has them very cleverly written — seemingly very naturally and innocently, and on topics which are in vogue. It is admitted behind the scenes in an interesting epoch, and has the actors familiarly and confidingly brought before it. This, of course, attracts. We like to be thus trusted with secrets, to know what has gone on.

But here I must go a little deeper into the nature of this disposition to have secret histories, though I fear I may not please the public if they condescend to read me; but I must tell the truth, and it bears on the character of these books. Men like to hear the secret history, and learn the progress of what is evil, much more than of what is good. Take a young man, in the human sense innocent, gradually getting away from what is honourable and pure, making impulsive efforts to recover himself, but still sinking, — getting, alas! gradually degraded, till he arrives at some terrible and fatal end. Men are interested. The efforts at recovery cast a halo round the sinking man. His degradation is, comparatively speaking, lost sight of. Pity surrounds his end: we like to know the details. A young female, shining in early youth, wickedly and heartlessly seduced, struggling against the engulfing stream for a while, the moral tone of her mind sinking, sorrow often (if innocence be met), with longings of heart that she were back to innocence, but her career still onward in evil, till she sinks in destitution and shame and sorrow! There is not merely pity (for this is right in both cases), but man likes to read the process; and the person whose secret history he follows becomes interesting to him. Now let these persons be recovered from their evil, instead of sinking to ruin: will the steps of their recovery be traced with the same interest? Most surely not. Put one and the other in a newspaper, in a pamphlet, and try. I do not say our moral judgment approves this tendency of mind: grace surely will correct it. I speak of the fact.

150 Such is human nature, such is the public; for the public is human nature locally modified. Suppose Mr. F. W. Newman or Dr. Newman were to return, the one to Christianity, the other to scriptural truth, would their phases of return, or the history of their religious recovery, be read with the same interest? I am fully persuaded they would not. Right-minded people would be glad, individuals would trace it with interest. Dr. N.'s present publication might cause the sale of some of that; but no bookseller would undertake an edition of the history of their recovery as he would of their fall. Alas! that it should be so; but the history of their fall away from truth and into evil, this it is that interests. But this is what their history is a history of.

No one questions that at this moment the power of evil is rampant; its forms are the deceit of Romanism and the insolence of open infidelity. Dr. Newman avows in result that he knows only the one or the other — Catholicism (that is, Papal infallibility) or Atheism; not the truth for himself. (Page 231 of first edition.) What is fearful (though the Christian has nothing to fear, far from it) is not that evil is there, but the perfect impotency of existing forms and corporations (I mean of such as ought, from their position and profession, to stand against it) to resist that evil. This is the sign of approaching judgment, of being given up of God. It was not Satan's power which drove the blessed Lord out of the world: as its occasion, it brought Him into it. But when His disciples could not cast demons out, could not use the power which had come in, then He says, "Faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?"

151 The country is in progress towards these two forms of evil. The National Schools in Ireland are founded on the avowed principle, that it was a vital defect to have the scriptures read in them, and this professedly to please the priests. A lay tribunal has decided that clergymen are not bound to hold the scriptures to be inspired, and that if they do not contravene articles made for another state of the church, they may teach anything they like; that is, that the church is no guardian of the truth at all. On the other hand, when men are subjected to the stultified fatuity that a red gown is like the Holy Ghost, there is no way of meeting such imbecility in public service,* because there is a rubric attached to the liturgy, the expression of patience, ill-advised or not, at the time when men were emerging from these things, which permits what was done in the second year of Edward VI.

{*Since this was written, some little righteous energy (I would I could say, consistency) has been shewn by Dr. Tait, for which I desire to be abundantly thankful.}

Now, it is not the evil I am judging here. If men like red gowns, I am sorry they do not instead love to worship God in spirit and in truth; but what I notice, what is fatal in its character is, that while the word of God is surrendered, and men are judicially authorized to give it up, there is no autonomy, no power, avowedly no power, to stand against or remove evil. The authorities of the national body seek to tide it over with the power of evil: but there is no faithfulness to God: and we have Father* Ignatius at the Episcopal gatherings as a deacon of the Church of England, and having a right to be there; and we have Colensos and Williamses openly setting aside the word with impunity. Neither can be met, neither can be dealt with as evil. They are authoritatively or judicially accepted; there is no intrinsic power at all to meet evil. I do not doubt the faithfulness of the Lord; I have no fear; I hold it to be a time of great blessing for faith; I believe the Lord is at hand. But it is sorrowful when what, in some sense at least, was the professed seat of righteousness declares its incapacity to remove or resist evil. If it be so, we are on the way to judgment. The aristocratic mind tends to popery; the popular to infidelity. Ecclesiastical authorities are powerless against the former; they are the chief abettors of the latter. Truth remains, blessed be God, always itself, and grace cannot fail.

{*[Should it not be "Brother" Ignatius? Father Ignatius was the Hon. Mr. Spencer. — Ed.]}

152 As I have spoken of these two forms of evil, let me add a few words on them before I formally take up the book which has given occasion to these lines. It is, as regards the true object of these remarks, the best judgment on the book. I am greatly confirmed in the conviction, that at the root of Romanism lies infidelity, not of course in the gross form of denying Christianity in its fundamental truths, or the historical basis of Christianity, but in the annulling those truths on which the blessing of the soul depends, or their application to it. It is a sensuous religion, fills the imagination with gorgeous ceremonies, noble buildings, fine music, stately processions. It feeds it with legends and the poetry of antiquity; but it gives no holy peace to the conscience — ease it may, but not peace; and, while accrediting itself with asceticism,* it accepts for the mass of its votaries full association with the world. It holds sin over the conscience as a terror, and relieves from that terror by human intervention, so as to put power into man's hand — into the hands of the priesthood. Looked at as a picture, it fills largely the imagination; in practice it degrades. Christianity and (in its true sense, whatever its shortcomings may have been) Protestantism elevate. I shall refer to this last in a moment: it has largely failed in result, but in its nature, as compared with Romanism, it elevates.

{*"I looked at her," says Dr. N., "her rites, her ceremonial, her precepts, and I said, This is a religion."}

Christianity brings us directly, immediately, to God. Each individual is directly, immediately, in relationship to God — his conscience before God, his heart confidingly in His presence. Judaism had a priesthood, the people could not go into God's presence. They might receive blessings, offer offerings, celebrate God's goodness, have a law to command them; but the way into the holiest was closed by a veil: "the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest." When the Lord Jesus died, this veil was rent from top to bottom, and "we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he has consecrated through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." "Having made peace by the blood of His cross." "He suffered, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God"; "His blood cleanseth from all sin." Hence the essence of Christianity, as applied to man, is, that the Christian goes himself, directly, personally to God — in Christ's name, and through Christ, but himself, into the holiest, and with boldness. He has by Christ access through the one Spirit to the Father, the Spirit of adoption. This being brought nigh by the blood of Jesus characterizes Christianity in its nature. The holiness of God's own presence is brought to bear on the soul: "If we walk," it is said, "in the light, as he is in the light" — yet not as fear, which repels, for we know perfect love through the gift of Jesus. We have boldness to enter into the holiest, that place where the presence of God Himself assures that the confidence of love will be the adoration of reverence while we go forth to the world; that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal body, the epistle (as it is said) of Christ. I am not discussing how far each Christian realizes it, but this is what Christianity practically is. He has made us kings and priests to God and His Father. This elevates truly.

153 Man is not elevated by intellectual pretensions; for he never gets, nor can get, beyond himself. What elevates him is heart-intercourse with what is above him; what truly elevates him is heart-intercourse with God, fellowship (wondrous word!) with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. But, even where the heart has not found its blessed home there through grace, this principle morally elevates; for it at least puts the natural conscience directly before God, and refers the soul, in its estimate of good and evil, personally and immediately to Him. There may be self-will and failure, but the standard of responsibility is preserved for the soul. I do but sketch the great principle on which I insist.

Romanism, wherever it exercises its influence, has closed the veil again. The faithful are not reconciled to God, they cannot go into the holiest, they do not know (as they quote from Ecclesiastes with so false an application) love and hatred by all that is before them; between them and God, they have a priesthood and saints, and the Virgin Mary. Christianity is a divine work which, through the redemption and life of a heavenly Mediator, has brought us to God; Romanism, a system of mediators on earth and in heaven, placed between us and God, to whom we are to go, and who go for us; we are too unworthy to go ourselves. It sounds lowly this voluntary humility, but it shuts out the conscience from the witness of God's presence; it casts us back on our worthiness, it puts away and denies the perfect love of God as known to us (shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost given to us) through Christ. It repudiates the blessed tender grace of Jesus, that High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. We must go to the heart of Jesus through the heart of Mary, they tell us. Surely I would rather trust His, blessed and honoured as she may have been and was in her own place. It removes me from God, to connect me immediately with creatures, however exalted, for my heart, and with sinful men, for my conscience, who are to judge of and absolve me. All this is degrading. It is the denial of Christianity, not in its original facts, but in its power and application to man.

154 A few illustrations of what I mean. They hold the great facts or truths of Christianity — the Trinity, the divinity and humanity of Christ; the atonement, so far as its sufficiency goes (not, however, as effectual substitution); that men are sinners (this also very imperfectly); and the need of regeneration, though they scorn the true force of the word. They hold the inspiration of the scriptures, though they have falsified them, both in adding books which every honest man knows are not genuine scriptures, and in giving a translation as the authentic scriptures. They own in a general way the personality and agency of the Holy Ghost. My object is not here to state exactly every point, but to say in general that they own the great fundamental facts of Christianity. It is not there that the spirit of infidelity shews itself.

But the moment you come to the application of these facts to men — to their efficacious value, all is lost. The scriptures are inspired, but the faithful are incapable of using them. In vain is it that they are addressed by God Himself through the inspired writers to the body of believers — they must not have them but by leave of others. In vain is it that there is a Holy Ghost — He does not so lead and guide individuals as that they can walk in peace and grace, and understand withal His word. They mock at the thought of His dwelling in believers. They bring the divisions and faults of believers to prove He cannot be there; that is, they use man's sin to deny God's goodness and truth, just as infidels do.

155 Even as to the scriptures their universal question is the same as the infidel's — How do you know them to be the scriptures? Their doctrine is, You must believe in them through the church: that is, the scriptures do not command faith in and by themselves, nor is man guilty if he reject them, just as the infidel says. God's word must be believed because God has spoken, and for no other reason, or it is not believing His word at all. Grace, no doubt, is needed for it, as for everything; but man's responsibility is there, as the Lord said, "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." They were responsible for not receiving Him, with all ecclesiastical authority rejecting Him: so are men as to the word.

Again, the sacrifice of Christ, they do not deny it. They repeat it in the Mass in an unbloody sacrifice, they say. But scripture says it was accomplished once for all, and contrasts it in its efficacy with the Jewish sacrifices, the repetition of which proved that sin was still there. Whereas the sacrifice of Christ, offered once for all, having perfectly put away sin for him who believes, there could be no repetition, the believer is perfected for ever, and God remembers his sins and iniquities no more. Their repetition shews unbelief in this blessed truth. The believer is not perfected for ever — the sacrifice must be repeated. It is not true that God will not remember their sins and iniquities any more. That is, the sacrifice is not denied; its efficacy, once offered for the believer's soul, is.

Again, take Christ's intercessional mediatorship. Christianity presents to me that blessed One, in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; a man tempted in all points as we are, without sin; one who also can be touched with the feeling of my infirmities, who has suffered being tempted, and thus is able to succour them that are tempted. In a word, the Son of God Himself has descended into our sorrows and trials, and passed through them in tender gracious love, that I might confide in His sympathy and love, and know He could feel for and with me. Do they deny His priesthood and intercession? No. But in fact there are a crowd of mediators; above all, Mary His mother. And why? He is too high and glorious. Any poor man would seek a friend at court to have the king's ear; it is the heart of Mary I am to trust, and get the saints' intercession, and reach His heart through Mary's. The whole truth and value of Christ's intercessory love is destroyed and denied in practice. The saints' and Mary's intercession is trusted, their tenderness and nearness believed in, not Christ's. Heathenism denied the one true God the Creator (though in a certain sense owning Him as a dogma) by a multiplicity of gods in practice. God intervenes by a Mediator in the most perfect system of blessing, and Romanism, while admitting the mediatorship of Christ as a dogma, has denied the one true mediatorship in practice by a multiplicity of mediators. It is the heathenism of Christianity, that is, of the blessed truth of a redeeming Mediator.

156 I turn more immediately to Dr. Newman's book. Let me be forgiven speaking for a moment of myself, as what I say has a bearing on these points. I know the system. I knew it and walked in it years before Dr. Newman (as I learn from this book) thought on the subject; and when Dr. Pusey was not heard of. I fasted in Lent so as to be weak in body at the end of it; ate no meat on week days — nothing till evening on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, then a little bread or nothing; observed strictly the weekly fasts, too. I went to my clergyman always if I wished to take the sacrament, that he might judge of the matter. I held apostolic succession fully, and the channels of grace to be there only. I held thus Luther and Calvin and their followers to be outside. I was not their judge, but I left them to the uncovenanted mercies of God. I searched with earnest diligence into the evidences of apostolic succession in England, and just saved their validity for myself and my conscience. The union of church and state I held to be Babylonish, that the church ought to govern itself, and that she was in bondage but was the church.

I would guard this part of what I say. I still think fasting a useful thing in its place, if spiritually used. I still think there were sacramental ordinances instituted. I still think the state has nothing to do with the church. Only I add that, if it be so, the church must not be an imperium in imperio, but a lowly heavenly body which has no portion on earth at all; as it was at the beginning, suffering as its Head did, unknown and well known, an unearthly witness of heavenly things on earth. What saved me then, I think, from being a Romanist was the ninth and tenth of Hebrews. I could not for priesthood, which I believed in, practically give up our great High Priest and His work. What delivered me from this whole system was the truth. The word of God had its own, its divine, authority over my soul, and maintained it through grace. I was looking for the true church honestly but in the dark. I believe in the church now, but I know it in its reality only as the living body of Christ united to Him by the Holy Ghost. I believe there is a church on earth, but, as is prophesied by the apostles, utterly corrupted as an external thing, and ruined — "having the form of godliness, but denying the power of it," causing perilous times. I see the church, the body of Christ, composed of living members united to Him by the Holy Ghost. I see an outward system, the habitation of God through the Spirit; but there I see wood, and hay, and stubble, may be built* in, and has been, and worse, but that God's faithfulness will continue His own work. Christ will build till all be finished, and no power shall prevail against it, until the time come to take those that are His to glory. I believe the appropriating the privileges of the members of Christ's body, as a fact, to all that are built into the house is the fundamental principle of popery, and of all that clings to it. I admit a sacramental system, but to identify it with actual spiritual power is unscriptural and false. One may be corrupted by man, the other is the work of God and secured by Him. I know no salvation out of the true church; but the Roman Catholic church is ridiculous as a security for the soul; for they admit that men may be, and hundreds are, members of it, and lost after all. I would not thank you for such security as that. I do not think Protestantism was fully delivered from this identifying the external sacramental system with the divine power of life — these two distinct revealed aspects of the church; and hence its present difficulties. Romanism, specifically and as a system, identifies them, denies the spiritual power and regeneration by the word, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost — in practice, mocks at it, as an infidel might. It is essential falsehood in this respect. Protestantism does not. It owns the spiritual power and the word; but I do not think there was deliverance from confusion as to it. It is bearing the burden of this now.

{*What Christ builds will be infallibly maintained to the end; and to this Peter refers in 1 Peter 2. But, also, as in every divine dispensation from the beginning, what God had established in a right state has been trusted to man's responsibility, and man has uniformly failed, and the system has been judged. So of the external system of the church — the day will declare the work, for it will be revealed by fire. The corruption will be destroyed.}

158 We are told there shall come a falling away. As I have said I believe it. The apostle has declared (that is, God has declared), "Upon thee [the engrafted Gentile] goodness, if thou continue in his goodness; otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off." Falling away, the opposite of continuing in God's goodness, is prophesied of; the lot of the church, as an outward professing system, is to be cut off. I look for partial present success for Romanism — the unbelief of imagination, and especially in its influence over government — but to make a way for open apostasy, or infidelity, the instrument of desolating judgments on it, when Antichrist and judgment will close the scene. Into that system of corruption which shall thus be destroyed, though for the moment successful, Dr. Newman has cast himself, as many others have, out of the uncertainty in which he has found his mind. His brother, as we have seen, publicly represents the open infidelity. Dr. Newman rests on authority; for him the pope is infallible. I have found (through pure grace, I fully own) the truth deliver me out of all difficulties, and the sure stay of my soul; for the word of God abides for ever. I rest, through grace, on the truth; on divine authority; on apostles, not on the pope. Dr. Newman cannot say, I know of whom I have learned it; I can. I have learned it of Paul, John, Peter — I need not name the rest — yea, of the blessed Lord Himself.

I will examine the process of Dr. Newman's mind. He has set it before us for the purpose. I pity Dr. Newman; I feel his difficulties; I have felt them myself; I do not judge him. But as his book is calculated to interest and influence many, I do not think he can complain if I dissect it freely. It is impossible to do so without speaking of Dr. Newman himself; for the whole part of his book which I comment on is an account of himself. I must necessarily expose his state in commenting on his own account of it. In many things I agree; many of his thoughts I have gone over in my own mind. Strange to say, I find I admit constantly all that infidels hold metaphysically. Only the truth remains, the truth of God untouched. I account for some of their thoughts; I cannot for others. What Dr. Newman calls liberalism is infidelity — man meddling, with his own mind as competent, in divine things. I reject this as utterly as he does. In the two points he professes to name, I do in a measure, I suppose, pretty much as he does; but he need not be so afraid of liberalism. What it hates is truth. Its latitudinarianism will favour — is favouring — popery at present more than anything else does, and has been. I believe the time will come when it will pull down popery. I believe the time will come, as Dr. Newman says, when a mere via media will disappear as satisfying nobody, and the struggle will be between popery and infidelity directly. I believe infidel power will triumph, and popery disappear; but triumph to its own destruction by the judgment of the Lord. But at present the liberal principle, and the majority of dissenters with it, are attacking the Establishment, the via media. It stands in their way. Some have boasted to me of their doing so, looking for the result Dr. N. himself anticipates; that is, putting down the Establishment, and then having a final struggle with Romanism. I have no sympathy with this in any sense or way. They are deceiving themselves too. They will find liberalism too strong for themselves as a system. What is religious, as a system among them, will not, does not, satisfy any active religious or infidel mind now. They may grow for a time by the ruin of others; but they are letting loose what will ruin themselves. But there is another thing besides and behind what Dr. Newman is looking at — the truth of God, the people of God. They will subsist and have their place in heaven when the fashion of this world has passed away.

159 There will be a people, not liberal so-called, not Romanists, but heavenly Christian men, resting on the word of God in true and lowly faith, led by the Spirit, kept, whatever the ruin, against whom the gates of hell shall no. and never can prevail. They will be kept, I mean, in the world, where alone danger for them is. They will have the sacraments, for such there are; but they will have what is inward and essential — true divinely-wrought faith, and the Spirit of God; kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed. May Dr. Newman be found among them, and many of the liberals too; yea, his now poor infidel brother; for grace can gather from every quarter. I am perfectly assured, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church that Christ builds; and I mean that He will keep it as a public profession here until the moment known to God, when He will take His own to Himself in heaven. But that which man has built and corrupted, the servant which has said, My Lord delays His coming, and has beaten the men-servants and maid-servants, and has eaten and drunk with the drunken, will be judged, will have his portion with the unbelievers, with the hypocrites, though called His servant to the end. It is well that men who fear God should ponder these things.

160 The first point which prominently strikes me in Dr. Newman's book is, that, as far as I can find from diligently examining it, neither Christ nor the truth nor the word of God nor any true solid foundation ever was in his mind at all. I hasten to say, I am not speaking of what is called orthodoxy; I am assuming this, as he does. He professed these great Christian foundations before; he professes them now — sincerely, I doubt not, as dogmas then and now, the useless faith of James. But in his search on the point which occupied his mind, in what he discloses in this book, neither Christ nor the truth nor the word of God nor any divine ground of faith is found as an object of research, or possessed as the foundation of his soul. As to a divine foundation of divine faith, it is from beginning to end denied. Romanism has none. It has dogmas, immensely important, fundamental dogmas they are, but no divine ground of faith.* My business is here to shew that it is so, as to Dr. N. His inquiry was between Anglicanism and Romanism. The soundness and fairness of that inquiry I will speak of; but there are deeper principles at the bottom of the result he has arrived at, and to them I now turn.

{*I do not undervalue these dogmas: they are essential to Christianity; and we cannot estimate them too highly, or hold them too fast.}

I affirm that, as far as this book goes, there is no divine ground of faith at all in it. He says he was converted at fifteen. Charity will surely hope and trust it is so. I do not pretend to judge, I earnestly hope it is; my heart gladly believes it, and rejoices in the thought of it. There is One only who judges. I speak of his book, and the principles laid down there. Whether Christ ever appears there, people must judge of, who have read it. I cannot recall the instance. And this is exceedingly important, as to what religion is. Possessing Christ, having the Son, as scripture expresses it, gives a rest and peace to the soul, which does not leave it beating about after truth, as Dr. Newman's was, saying, Where is it? The soul that has Christ knows it has got the truth — for He is it — that it has found the Father. It does not hunger, as not having what the soul needs and craves after. It is not looking about for safety, for it is safe in Him and through Him; not in self-confidence, but trusting the good Shepherd, who knows His sheep, and keeps them. It does not slight the sacraments, but is thankful for them, nor the ministry of men whom the Lord has sent. It blesses God heartily for all these things where it enjoys them, but it possesses the substance of all, eternal life in Christ, shepherd-care in Him. It has peace and rest of heart in Him.

161 And there is another point connected with this. What finally led Dr. Newman to be satisfied with Romanism, which has confessedly a multitude of doctrines unknown to the primitive church, was the principle of development. He was far down the hill, no doubt, long before; but that plunged him into its waters. Now in the Person of Christ, and the value of His work before God, there can be no development. He is the same — and so is the efficacy of His work — yesterday, to-day, and for ever. I or Dr. Newman may grow in the knowledge of Christ. Faithful zeal may resist and dispel errors which arise, and by which Satan seeks to cloud the truth and overthrow faith; but there cannot be a development of the infinitely perfect and completely revealed Person of the Son of God, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Dr. Newman may find (in spite of Bishop Bull, and as Pettau has admitted) that: the ante-Nicene fathers were worse than obscure as to the divinity of the blessed Lord; but Paul is not, who declares that the fulness of the Godhead (theotes not theiotes, that is, proper Deity, not divine character simply) dwells in Him bodily; John is not, who declares, He is the true God, was with God, and was God; and the New Testament, so plainly and blessedly making Christ known to us, is not. There He is Immanuel, Jesus — Jehovah the Saviour. He may rejoice that the Nicene Council re-affirmed this truth. But to say that this was development, and that the church of God for three centuries did not know the true divinity of Christ is high treason against Christ and the truth. It is the folly of a mind who, to excuse itself and make out a point, gives up all fundamental truth — does not possess it. It may lead to Romanism — I dare say it does; I am sure it does not lead to God. The apostle tells us, on this very head, "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that therefore which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." There might be the rejection of heresies, as Arianism, whose source was in Platonism and philosophy, or of other similar evil doctrines; but it was not to develop but to maintain what was from the beginning. So the apostle Paul, "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, … knowing of whom thou hast learned them." I admit no development: that is popery.

162 I admit of no private judgment, when God has revealed the truth. I will touch on this subject further when I come to speak of Dr. N.'s views of Protestantism. I learn, but I know of whom I learn; I continue in what we have heard from the beginning. The Romish church does not so continue; it does not know of whom it learns, as to the faith of any individual in it. The indiscriminate reading of scripture by Christians it condemns, which the apostle gives as the resource and security of the believer in the last and evil days. We are perfectly sure why.

Next, it is striking how absolutely foreign the search for the truth, or the conscious possession of it, was from Dr. N.'s mind. He was looking out for some via media to preserve from what threatened. The Evangelical system only occupied a space between catholic truth and rationalism (pp. 144, 145). I do not know what else a via media of his own was to do. But I refer to this now to shew there was no search for God's truth in the matter; it was some expedient. "It was necessary to have a definite church theory erected on a definite basis; this took me to the great Anglican divines" 146). Then there were the parties in the controversy, the Anglican via media, and the popular religion of Rome. The Anglican disputant took his stand upon antiquity or apostolicity, the Roman on catholicity 148-153). "It is plain, then, that at the end of 1835, or beginning of 1836, I had the whole question before me on which, to my mind, the decision between the churches depended. There was a contrariety of claims between the Anglican and Roman religions, and the history of my conversion is simply the process of working it out to a solution." It was catholicity, or antiquity. I add that the unity of the church, as one body, was not in his mind at all. It was catholicity, or independent dioceses (148). On reading Leo he suddenly felt he was all in the wrong. "Be my soul with the saints," such as Athanasius (who died excommunicated and banished by the so-called universal church for the truth's sake) and Leo. "Anathema to a whole tribe of Cranmers, Ridleys, Latimers, and Jewels! Perish the names of Bramhall, Ussher, Taylor, Stillingfleet, and Barrow from the face of the earth, ere I should do aught but fall at their feet in love and worship, whose image was continually before my eyes, and whose musical words were ever in my ears and on my tongue." Is there the most distant idea of an approach to the serious search of God's truth on the subject from His teaching? Dr. N. moves in a circle of men's minds to decide a question of the merit of present rival schemes, never for the truth of God. Where he had learnt what he did hold, we shall see in the next article. Even here we shall see he rests on no divine testimony. There is no seriousness. Dr. Wiseman's words from St. Augustine, "Securus judicat orbis terrarum," sounded in his ears incessantly, like "Turn again, Whittington"! (157-8). "There was more evidence in antiquity for the necessity of unity, than for the apostolical succession," etc. The truth of God, as revealed, does not enter his mind. He cannot say he possessed it, or thought he did; for he was uncertain and changing, and that even as to why he was to believe; but in this state he never inquired for God's truth on God's authority.

163 Again, further on (231), he examines the concatenation of arguments by which the mind ascends from its first to its final religious idea: "And I came to the conclusion that there was no medium between atheism and catholicity, and that a perfectly consistent mind, under those circumstances in which it finds itself here below, must embrace either one or the other" (231). Now such a sentence could not by any possibility have been penned by one who possessed the truth himself. One who possessed Christ, knew Him as the Son of God for himself, knew the Father and His love, must have known that there was the possession of truth without being what Dr. N. (when he wrote this) means by catholic. No one who possessed divine truth, as taught of God, whatever the external means — truth as to God, the Trinity, the Lord Jesus, the church as one with Him, sin, salvation (I might enlarge the list) — could have declared there was no medium between atheism and catholicity. And note his grounds: "I am a catholic by virtue of my believing in a God; and if I am asked why I believe in a God, it is because I believe in myself." God's presence in his conscience makes him know God. Now Dr. N. speaks of philosophical correctness. It is not the question here. Either before joining Rome he possessed Christian truth, or he did not. If he did, his position is false; if he did not, anyone can understand why he turned catholic. He had nothing. Nor indeed did he arrive at anything. He came to authority, not faith in any truth. He did not believe, he tells us, in transubstantiation till he was a catholic. Now he receives it on authority (265). He believed that the Roman catholic church was the oracle of God. Transubstantiation passed muster with all the rest, and he declared it to be a part of the original revelation; but this is no true faith in a truth, it is acquiescence in authority, and, after all, it is accrediting Rome for a fact. I might add to this list of proofs that he did not possess the truth nor seek it. I quote this only as short expressions of it on his part, and so proofs. The whole book shews it — it runs through every part of it.

164 I shall now shew that he had no divine ground of faith. His whole ground of believing was, not divine testimony, but probability, and no more; and such is the doctrine of the school, as I shall shew from Keble. No wonder that Romanism delights in this. It has no divine ground of faith. It cannot give the same ground of faith to a heathen and a Christian, nor any sure one to either. It declares, I cannot believe in God's word but on the authority of the church. But how am I to believe in the church? The first converts could not. Antiquity, catholicity, succession did not exist. They were called on to believe in Christ alone. There was no church, and all ecclesiastical authority was against Him. The foundation of the first disciples' faith is different on the Romanist system from mine; and, even after Christ was glorified, the faith of the converts could not be founded, and was not founded on the church, but on the testimony of the apostles. Nor could it be with heathens now; for they do not recognize the church. It is said that there is special grace for them. So heathens have special grace which Christians cannot have. And if, as believing in Christ, I seek, not Christianity, but honestly what church is the best one, I am told I must begin by owning the authority of that church. But this is absurd on the face of it; for what I want to know is, has it authority? Is it the true church?

I return to the ground Dr. Newman was on. Now the truth rests on testimony. John the baptist says, "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." So the apostle John, "He that is of God heareth us"; Paul, "Continue thou in the things that thou hast learned, knowing of whom thou hast learned them." Now if I believe the blessed Lord's testimony or Paul's or John's or any of the inspired witnesses, I do not, I cannot, dare not speak of probability. I set to my seal that God is true. There is no divine faith but that. That Dr. N. never had in prosecuting his inquiry; he tells us so. It was one of the great underlying principles of a great portion of his teaching — "Probability is the guide of life" (61, 62). The difficulty was evident: scepticism, that is, certainty about nothing. Keble met this, he tells us, by the doctrine, "that it is not merely probability which makes us intellectually certain" — mark "intellectually." He had spoken before of the logical cogency of faith (62) — but probability as it is put to account by faith and love. "It is faith and love which give to probability a force which it has not in itself" (69).

165 Thus in itself it was only a probability, and something in myself gives it force. It was reasoning plus right feeling; but no divine testimony at all. Still Dr. N. says that did not satisfy him. "It was beautiful and religious, but it did not even profess to be logical." "My argument is in outline as follows: That that absolute certitude which we were able to possess, whether as to truths of natural theology, or as to the fact of a revelation, was the result of an assemblage of concurring and converging probabilities, and that, both according to the constitution of the human mind and the will of its Maker, that certitude was a habit of mind, that certainty was a quality of propositions," and so forth (70). There are degrees, consequently, creating certitude, opinion, etc.

Now it is quite certain that there is no divine ground of faith at all here, no testimony of God received as such; and if I take these probabilities as that on which the reception of a testimony is based, the certainty of that testimony cannot be beyond the certainty that it is a true one. Nothing can be clearer than that, whatever he might have had in his soul for the foundation of all his inquiry, no ground of divine faith existed at all. He was already on the ground of Romanism on this point — that is, of infidelity. Such a process of reasoning may shew the folly of infidel reasoning, and so far be useful as a means; it never can give divine faith; it is not on the ground of it at all.

166 I might multiply quotations; I only add a few to shew he was always on this ground. Thus, page 202, he preached against the danger of being swayed by our feeling rather than our reason in religious inquiry (223). "I wish to go by reason, not by feeling" (232). This was in 1843-4, on the eve of his becoming a Romanist: "I say that I believed in God on a probability, that I believed in Christianity on a probability, and that I believed in catholicism on a probability, and that all three were about the same kind of probabilities, a cumulative and a transcendent probability, but still probability; inasmuch as He who made us has so willed that in mathematics indeed we arrive at certitude by rigid demonstration, but in religious inquiry we arrive at certitude by accumulated probabilities; inasmuch as He who has willed that we should so act, co-operates with us in our acting, and therefore bestows on us a certitude which rises higher than the logical force of our conclusions" (232). Thus we have God's grace helping us in ascertaining probabilities; but, as Dr. N. says, still probability. Now it is perfectly certain that there is no divine ground of faith here at all. No true believer, no one who has received God's testimony and set to his seal that God is true, be he Roman Catholic itself, but knows this has nothing whatever to do with divine faith. It would be a blasphemy to talk of God's testimony being probably true, no matter how high the probability may go. Probability of conclusions is not of the same nature as reception of a testimony.

I might here again add quotations, but they are useless after these. The Romanism of Dr. Newman is not divine faith at all.

I shall now shew further that the principles which led him to the place where he is were all derived from man. This may be very clever with a view to involve Anglicanism in his present position, but is a distinct testimony that all was built on human influences, not on God's word or truth divinely received in any way. Dr. Hawkins gave him Sumner on apostolic preaching. Thus he gave up his remaining Calvinism, and received the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Another principle he received from Dr. Hawkins was the doctrine of tradition: "To learn doctrine we must have recourse to the catechisms and creeds … after learning from them the doctrines of Christianity, the inquirer must verify them from scripture" (61). Let me say here, I distinguish fully between learning truth and a standard of it; but this is a poor teaching. The first Christians certainly did not learn it from words or catechisms, for there were none to learn them from; and now a parent, as well as a catechism, a friend, a minister, may have taught us the truth, or scripture may have done so. Scripture is the only standard. The fallacy of the statement is in this, that catechisms and creeds are here introduced, not as teaching, but as authority; that is, the church is. We have received the truth from them as truth, without saying so. Let it be true or false, it is a deceitful presentation of the matter. A parent, a friend, a minister, is not an authority. If catechisms and creeds are only means of learning, there are a hundred others. Their authority is at the root of this tradition.

167 But to proceed: "The Rev. Wm. James taught me the doctrine of apostolic succession." "About this date I read Butler's Analogy, the study of which has been to so many, as it was to me, an era in their religious opinions" (61). From him he learned the doctrine of probability. He had thus given up his early religious convictions, imbibed with what converted him to God, and was prepared for his departure into Romanism. He had been taught by man, and was landed in the denial of divine faith, on the ground of probability as the basis of religious views. Whately then taught him to think and use his reason, "to see with my own eyes, and to walk with my own feet" (62). He learnt from him "the existence of the church as a substantive body or corporation. This led, in its effects, to Tractarianism" (63). Keble's poetry, that is, the sacramental system, subsequently exercised a great influence over him, and what was added to the doctrine of probability, of which we have spoken (68). Froude (a hard rider, we are told, on horseback and in views), professed openly his admiration of the church of Rome, and his hatred of the Reformers. His opinions arrested and influenced Dr. N.; he was his bosom friend (73, 74). Mr. Froude was evidently governed by the wild imagination of an unhealthy mind and a strong will. The theory of virginity, and the real presence, and mediaeval antiquity, carried him away — not the primitive church. He went abroad ill, and was shocked by the degeneracy which, says Dr. Newman, he thought he saw in the catholics of Italy. He died young. "There is one remaining source of my opinions," says Dr. N. (so little conscious is he of what that means, the tale it tells), "to be mentioned" (75). This was the study of Fathers and church history, which resulted in his work as to the Arians of the fourth century. He delighted in and received Clement of Alexandria's wild views. They came like music to his inward ear, reviving the self-invented Berkeleyanism he was in when young, of which we will speak farther on. From this school he learnt what he held about angels — as wild as need be. He then went abroad ill with Mr. Froude, visited Italy and Sicily, and (with a strong impression he was called to some work, of which anon) he began the Tracts for the Times.

168 I have gone through the proofs that God's truth was not what Dr. Newman sought, but to settle the question between the principles of catholicity and antiquity, or Romanism and Anglicanism; that men's opinions, not God's word, were what gradually led him on, and that he had no divine foundation for faith at all, but avowedly only probability, which in its nature excludes the idea of the reception of a divine testimony. I will now inquire a little into his actual progress, in which, it seems to me, astonishing levity of mind is exhibited, a large share of self-confidence, it may be some more direct power of the enemy. I shall be forgiven (as instructively tracing the elements of a history, given to us by himself, which has taken the course Dr. Newman's has) in remarking how much he was occupied with himself. At page 20 or 23 he records the phases of his youthful feeling; he kept even his Latin verses and copy-books made and used when a young boy; small things, but which shew the tone and character of mind which were fully developed in after life, as here depicted. When he left his tutorship for the continent, he had a vision of some future before him, and on his return felt he had a work to do. "I was naturally led to think that some inward changes, as well as some larger course of action, was coming upon me" (81). His imagination was wild and unrestrained too, and somehow or other formed in a popish school. He headed his first copybook as a child with a crucifix and rosary, and crossed himself before going into the dark, before he was fifteen; longed that the Arabian tales should be true; thought life might be a dream, or himself an angel; the world a deception, and his fellow-angels concealing themselves from him, and deceiving him with the semblance of a material world (53-55). Nor when a clergyman had this character disappeared. In 1834 he said of the angels in a sermon, "Every breath of air, and ray of light and heat, every beautiful prospect is as it were the skirts of their garments, the waving of the robes of those whose faces see God." "Again I ask, what would be the thoughts of a man who, examining a flower, or a herb, or a pebble, or a ray of light, which he treats as something so beneath him in the scale of existence, suddenly discovered that he was in the presence of some powerful being, who was hidden behind the visible things he was inspecting, who, etc., … nay, whose robe and ornament these objects were?" (77). "Also, besides the hosts of evil spirits, I considered there was a middle race, daimonia, neither in heaven nor in hell, partially fallen, capricious, wayward, noble or crafty, benevolent or malicious, as the case might be. They gave a sort of inspiration or intelligence to races, nations, and classes of men. Hence the actions of bodies politic," etc. (78). This is connected with his study of Clemens Alexandrinus and Alexandrianism, that is, of the Neoplatonism which corrupted the gospel, and was the true source of Arianism, this Clemens himself being unsound, and Justin Martyr expressly declaring that it was impossible the supreme God could be made flesh.

169 However, my present object is to shew the kind of preparation there was in the state of his mind for his further progress. Depth of conscience, sense of good and evil, the soberness of God's word, subjection to it, one finds no trace of. It is superficial imagination, and on such subjects levity. And he pursued this out. "I cannot but think that there are beings with a great deal of good in them, yet with great defects, who are the animating principles of certain institutions, etc., etc. Take England, with many high virtues and a low Catholicism" (78). This was in 1837. In 1835-6 he had the whole state of the question between Anglicanism and Romanism (152), so that these wild wanderings of mind existed and entered into his judgment of England's ecclesiastical state. Is there anything of earnestness or an exercised conscience here?

I have said there was self-confidence and levity in dealing with solemn subjects. What I mean now by the latter is this. When he was uncertain what he believed, what was the truth, and where it would lead, though growingly inclined to Romanism, he went on acting diligently on the minds of others. He was not at rest himself (he tells us so), yet went on influencing others; not always saying all he had in his mind, but enough to prepare theirs for it. Now, on so solemn a subject as what is the true religion, to act week after week on others without knowing the true religion oneself, I call moral levity of the worst kind. That he was not at rest he tells us (159). "And first I will say, whatever comes of saying it (for I leave inferences to others), that for years I must have had something of an habitual notion, though it was latent, and had never led me to distrust my own convictions, that my mind had not found its ultimate rest, and that in some sense or other I was on journey." This was the case as early as 1833, and even 1829. Now, what does this shew? That with the consciousness of changing views, his mind on a journey he knew not whither, he went on leading and directing others by sermons, tracts, etc. Now, I do think an earnest, serious, conscientious man would not have done this; a modest man would not, he would have waited till he saw what the truth was himself, till he was at the end of his journey. And why did he go on when he knew he had not come to any settled conclusion? Because he had immense confidence in himself. He never was led to distrust his own convictions (that is, himself — his own mind), though they were changing every day; he was on his "journey." This is what I call moral levity and self-confidence.

170 But we may have some other elements of this. The truth is, that at this moment all was over as to Anglicanism in Dr. N.'s mind. It was in a ruinous evil state; he could and was to reform it. But we have the sources of this movement in his mind; it was in full connection with angelical flowers and pebbles. It was not an earnest inquiry into what Paul taught, or John presses on us in the power of the eternal Spirit; not a heart bowed by Christ's words, and because the church does not answer to what she ought to be for her heavenly Bridegroom. It was not the truth, it was not God's word, it was not what God planted at the first wholly a right seed (to make use of Jeremiah's expression as to Israel), nothing of the moral depth of the exercised conscience which such thoughts are connected with, which heart-connection with Christ, and the desire that the church might be what it ought to be for Him, as the word of God will shew it to us, are the source of in the heart. It was Alexandria. So Dr. N. tells. He had been writing the history of the Arians. He had found in the wild mysteries and errors of Platonistic Christianity "the primeval mystery,"* that all nature was a parable, the world the expression of the Logos, or word of God, the stars living beings. For such was Alexandrian philosophy, as displayed in Philo,** and with which the Alexandrian Fathers were more or less imbued. "In her triumphant zeal in behalf of that primeval mystery, to which I had so great a devotion from my youth, I recognized the movement of my spiritual mother, incessu patuit Dea. The self-conquest of her ascetics, the patience of her martyrs, the irresistible determination of her bishops, the joyous swing of her advance, both exalted and abashed me. I said, Look on this picture and on that (the Anglican church). I felt affection for my own church, but not tenderness; I felt dismay at her prospects, anger and scorn at her do-nothing perplexity … I saw that Reformation principles were powerless to rescue her. As to leaving her, the thought never crossed my imagination; still, I ever kept before me that there was something greater than the Established Church, and that was the church catholic and apostolic, set up from the beginning, of which she was but the local presence and organ. She was nothing unless she was this. She must be dealt with strongly, or she would be lost. There was need of a second Reformation" (80). Now, although Dr. N. speaks of the primitive church, he refers essentially to Alexandria. He says (p. 76), "What principally attached me to the ante-Nicene period was the great church of Alexandria, the historical centre of teaching of those times." "The broad philosophy of Clement and Origen carried me away." And this is distinctly connected with his rhapsodies about angels, etc. It is the whole subject from the beginning of 75 to the end of 80. This was what he admired; this forced reformation on his notice. He owed his doctrine about angels to the Alexandrian school (77). He was "drifted back first to the ante-Nicene history, and then to the church of Alexandria." It was the Alexandrian church led him to his reforming undertakings.

{*I should have doubted what Dr. N. meant by the primeval mystery, but for the words, "to which I had so great a devotion in my youth." This was the Platonic system of ideas and demons, material things being merely a representative to sense of archetypal truth. This, though Neoplatonism properly speaking, was a subsequent system, a last effort of philosophy against Christianity, reigned among the Alexandrian Fathers. Justin Martyr never gave up his philosopher's cloak. Clement had his common teaching, and his esoteric for the initiated.}

{**That all this doctrine about souls and angels, or demons, is half Platonic, half philosopho-Mosaic, is unquestionable. It had a semi-Jewish, semi-heathen origin, coming, I doubt not (as no one who has examined Manicheism, Gnosticism, and eastern or old Persian views, can, I think, question), from the East. Philo represents the mixture in the Lord and apostles' time. He held that all was full of living beings (the sun, moon, and stars being not only animals, but most pure minds); that all the air, the space from the moon, the extreme of heaven proper, to the earth, was filled with souls as numerous as the stars; that the higher ones were very pure, and were demons, called angels by Moses, the lower ones loved getting down into human bodies; the root of all the doctrine being the evil of matter. See Philo peri Gen. (1, 263, Mangey) peri Phut. Noe (1, 331), peri tou theop. on. (1, 641), and elsewhere. This Origen held to be true. He maintains it largely De Prin. lib 1, 7 (1, 72, 73, De la Rue), and that they first had a body, and that then a soul entered into it, which desires to depart and be with Christ. Clement is said to have denied it. I cannot find the passage. In the system referred to above, these demons, or angels, were hell to be intercessors, as the Jews also taught.}

172 Let us see a little what the state of this church was, and in matters which made Dr. N. admire it, and seek to reform the Anglican. Strange to say, it is, to say the very least, excessively doubtful whether for years, yea centuries, there was any episcopal ordination there at all, at least if we are to believe St. Jerome. No doubt in his time, and before it, episcopacy was established, and this he recognizes. But on the pretensions of the diaconate at Rome, he exalts presbyters, declaring that according to scripture bishops and presbyters were identical; he says the apostle perspicuously teaches that presbyters are the same as bishops, quoting Philippians 1, Acts 20:28, Titus 1:5, seq., 1 Timothy 4:14, 1 Peter 5, and the second and third epistles of John. But he adds, that afterwards one was chosen who should be set over the others, as a remedy for schism, lest any drawing to himself should make a breach in the church of Christ. For at Alexandria also, from the evangelist Mark up to the bishops Heraclas and Dionysius, the presbyters always called bishop one chosen out of themselves, placed in a higher grade; as if the army should make an Imperator (as they did in the empire), or the deacons choose from themselves one whom they may have known to be industrious, and called him Archdeacon. Now, it is true, he adds, that the bishop differs only in this, that he can ordain. Nor do I doubt for a moment, that this was the universal order in Jerome's time. Nay, the Alexandrian patriarch, whose jurisdiction then was larger than that of Rome, claimed the right to ordain in all his subject-dioceses himself. But it is equally true that Jerome states historically that it had not been so till Heraclas and Dionysius; and this is confirmed by many peculiarities as to the rights of Alexandrian presbyters, and, as is said, the abolition of their rights by Alexander in the time of the Nicene council.

173 But this by the bye. That Alexandrian theology was philosophical, and corrupted by philosophy, is certain: Clement, the great Alexandrian teacher, does not conceal it. He says in his Stromata (ed. Potter 1, 319, line 35), speaking of the nourishment of souls, the peace in the word, and the life which is of God; he adds, "For souls have their own nourishment, some growing in knowledge and intelligence, some fed according to the Grecian philosophy, of which, as in the case of nuts, all is not edible." In lib. 7, 2 (1831, 2), "the word teaches all, some as friends, some as faithful servants, some as servants; he is the teacher who instructs the man of knowledge (the Gnostic) in mysteries (this is the esoteric teaching for a few), the faithful by good hopes, and the hard-hearted by corrective discipline and sensible (aesthetic) powers." And afterwards: "He, the Word, it is who gives philosophy to the Greeks by inferior angels; for the angels, by a divine and ancient ordinance, are distributed by nations, but the doctrine of believers is the Lord's part, insisting on the divine care of all." So in book 6, 8 (773), "All things useful to life are given by the Word, but philosophy more especially to the Greeks was given to them as a special covenant, to be as a foundation of philosophy according to Christ." And in book 1, 6 (p. 337) he makes the sower of the parable to have come thus from above from the foundation of the world. What this philosophy was he tells us (338): "Philosophy, I say not the Stoic, not the Platonic, nor the Epicurean and Aristotelian, but whatever things are said rightly by each of these sects, teaching righteousness with pious intelligence; this, as a whole, I call eclectic philosophy." The law, he says elsewhere, was for the Jews, philosophy for the Greeks, till Christ came (6, 17, p. 823), the whole chapter being a long discourse on this subject, each receiving it according to their deserts.

I am fully satisfied that the East was the origin of much more of all this than we are aware of, corrected partially in these Alexandrian Fathers by Christianity, and already in Plato (and, I suppose, Pythagoras) by Grecian habits of thought. The root of it was, that there was a supreme unknown God who dwelt in the depths of silence, and could have no connection with matter. Hence emanations and the Demiurge, an inferior creator, resulting in Gnosticism — the plague of the early church. Platonism, with its emanated demons and the Alexandrian philosophy, divides into the Christian and heathen parties, Clement giving his perfect Christian the name of Gnostic. Early there was a Jewish party, whom Philo represents. In all Logos was an inferior being, though divine. It resulted, in another form, in Arianism, the doctrine more or less of the Alexandrian ante-Nicene Fathers (not of Irenaeus), combated by Athanasius when it came formally to a head in Arius. Thus it was that Dr. Newman came to be called an Arian. He had imbibed a delight in these ante-Nicene statements. Hence, too, arose asceticism. Matter held, as Plato teaches, the soul down as a nail to the earth; it was to be mortified. Asceticism began in the Alexandrian church, partly indeed by persons who fled in the Decian persecution. Hence forbidding to marry, not that people might be more devoted, but as evil for the Gnostic.

174 Again, Origen — a most attractive, interesting man, I fully admit, but whose name became the football of passion in the church — what was he? First he applied to himself literally, by mutilation, Matthew 19:12. He held that souls were born into different conditions in this world, according to their conduct in a previously existing state — a doctrine current among the heathen Egyptians, but a well-known eastern idea of Buddhists and Brahmins too. Buddha's great doctrine was, how to escape it by hearing "Bana," and absolute indifference to everything sense could feel, so as to obtain Nirvana (extinction). But Origen held — it is not my part to make him consistent — that the fall (and this was Alexandrian and Philo's doctrine already, and Platonic) was the pure soul of man coming into a body. He was not sound, though he seems sometimes to be clear, on the divinity of Christ. As to the divinity of the Holy Ghost, he was wholly unsound. As to Ammonius (the master of Heraclas the Patriarch, and others), it is disputed whether he is Christian or heathen.

Such was the school Dr. N. delighted in — their philosophy, he tells us, not their theology; but it is impossible to separate them. The fall of man being a pure soul coming into a material body — is that philosophy or theology? Even as to Christ (Origen de Principiis, book 2, e, 6; De Incarnatione, 1, 90, ed. De la Rue), holding, as he does expressly, that the divine nature cannot, without a mediator, be united to a body, and each soul receiving according to its deserts, he states that the Word or Son took one of these previously existing souls from the beginning of creation, and became and remained thoroughly one spirit with him; and then, by the mediation of that, took a body too, though he admits it is beyond even the apostle's thoughts.* I need not go farther. Men's souls were to work their way back to liberation from matter, as also Philo and their Platonic predecessors and Gnostic contemporaries held: that was the object of the mission of Christ.

{*He applies John 10:18 to the inseparability of the soul and the Word.}

175 To prove the effect of this heathenish system in morals, I may add — what I regret to have to add, but with modern pretensions in these things it is well it should be known — that one form of asceticism was the clergy abstaining from marriage, under the plea of purity, taking to sleep with them females, with the same pretension to purity, alleging they were free from all evil of mind. This was one form of asceticism — not the only one. I know they went into the desert. But this shews the nature of it. This Dr. N. must know as well as possible. He will say it was often publicly condemned. It was often condemned in the East and in the West, but that shews it was a custom: and they had a name, both in Greek and Latin — Suneisaktai (subintroductae), and agapetai (beloved). Irenaeus himself charges the Gnostics with the same practice. It is recognized in the Shepherd of Hermas (III, sim. 9:11), which was read in the churches — there, of course, in a seemly way. Tertullian, when a Montanist, charges the Catholics with it. (De Jejuniis, p. 554.) My reader will easily understand that it is not only in reference to Dr. Newman I quote these things: we learn what early infected the church. But we do see the wild system which attracted Dr. N., and sanctioned his early mental vagaries, preached to his parishioners, be it remembered, at St. Mary's.