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called doctrine, as distinct from discipline, I do not think that any thing can be found in any of my sermons, published or not published, which is more at variance with the doctrines of the Church than what is to be found in the sermons of any other man who has written as many; and not only so, but I think there is no negative difference; that is, I think there would be found no omission of any points which the Reformers would have thought essential, bating some particular questions which were important then, and are now gone by. I am perfectly willing to bear my portion of odium for all that I really have written, and the Newmanites may fairly speak against my opinions as do against theirs. But a vague charge of holding, not wrong, but technically unorthodox opinions, affects a man's professional usefulness in a way that in any other profession would be thought intolerable ; and, in fact, in other professions men would be ashamed or afraid to breathe it. I have gone on with it quietly for a long time, partly because no charge has ever been brought against me which I could answer, and partly because, whilst I was so fully engaged at Rugby, I was not practically reminded of it. But
grow older, and the time is approaching more and more when I must, in the natural course of things, be thinking of leaving Rugby, and when I see a state of things in Oxford which greatly needs the help of every man interested about the University,—when I see that you are doing a great deal of good, and without any question of your orthodoxy, so far as I know, and yet know that in my constant preaching there is as little that any body could call heterodox as in yours,-it makes me feel that I ought not silently to bear a sort of bad name, which to man or dog is little better than hanging; and that it would be desirable, if there really is a similar feeling against me to that which exists against Hampden, to get it if possible into some tangible shape. I wish you would think of this matter a little, and give me your judgment. We are all well, and
enjoying this rest, which enables me to work and to gain refreshment at the same time.
TO J. C. PLATT, ESQ.
Fox How, January 20, 1839. I have often thought of you and the Courant during this new excitement of the operative population. Most gladly would I join in any feasible attempt to check this terrible evil, which men seem to regard as so hopeless that they would rather turn their eyes away from it, and not look at it till they must.
But that “ must” will come, I fear, but too soon; simply because they will not look at
I am inclined to think, that the Poor Law, though I quite believe it to be in itself just in its principle, has yet done more moral harm, by exasperating the minds of the poor, than it can possibly have done good. I am very far, however, from wishing to return to the old system; but I think that the Poor Law should be accompanied by an organized system of Church charity, and also by some acts designed in title, as well as in substance, for the relief of the poor, and that by other means than driving them into economy by terror. Economy itself is a virtue which appears to me to imply an existing previous competence; it can surely have no place in the most extreme poverty; and for those who have a competence to require it of those who have not, seems to me to be something very like mockery.
I shall be in London, I hope, on the 6th, and shall be staying at No. 1, Tavistock Square. If I can see you either there, or by calling on you in Ludgate Street, it will give me much pleasure.
TO REV. F. C. BLACKSTONE.
Rugby, February 25, 1839. ..I read and have got Gladstone's book, and quite agree with you in my admiration of its spirit through
out; I also like the substance of about half of it; the rest of course appears to me erroneous. But it must be good to have a public man writing on such a subject, and it delights me to have a good protest against that wretched doctrine of Warburton's, that the State has only to look after body and goods. “Too late," however, are the words which I should be inclined to affix to every plan for reforming society in England; we are ingulphed, I believe, inevitably, and must go down the cataract; although ourselves, i. e. you and I, may be in Hezekiah's case, and not live to see the catastrophe.
I thank you very much for your truly kind offer of assistance about the Roman History. If any man were reading Augustine or any other writer for his own purposes, and took notes of such points as you mention, there is no doubt that his notes would be very useful to me; but there is this objection against asking any body to read for my purposes,
that the labour saved to me might not be in proportion to that which I was imposing on him. Such notes as you suggest would be like an exceedingly good index; but they must rather guide my own researches than supersede them; for it is, I think, absolutely necessary to look through for oneself all the most important works which relate to one's period of history. I shall save myself many or most of the Byzantine writers by stopping at any rate in the eighth century, and confining myself chiefly to the Latin empire.
I think that, hard as the Agrarian questions are, they connect themselves with one almost harder, namely, “How can slavery be really dispensed with?" It is, of course, perfectly easy to say that we will have no slaves, but it is not quite so easy to make all the human inhabitants of a country what free citizens ought to be; and the state of our railway navigators and cotton operatives is scarcely better for themselves than that of slaves, either physically or morally, and is far more perilous to society. It is when I see all these evils, which I believe the Church was meant
to remove, that I groan over that fatal system which has so utterly destroyed it; that sytem of substituting unrealities for realities, which Newman and his party are striving to confirm and to propagate. But I feel, also, that even a sham is better to most minds than nothing at all; and that Newmanism ought not to be met with negatives, by trying to prove it to be false, but by something positive, such as the real living Church would be. And how is the Church to be revived? So Newmanism, I suppose, will grow and grow, till it provokes a reaction of infidelity, and then infidelity will grow and grow, till up starts Newmanism again in such form as it may wear in the twentieth or twenty-first century.
TO A. P. STANLEY, ESQ.
Rugby, February 27, 1839. The stir about Church matters, of which Gladstone's book is a symptom, interests me, of course, and on the whole delights me. Any thing on such a point is, I believe, better than the mere ignorance of indifference. But I am more and more anxious to organize, I do not say a party, for I dislike all parties; but a system of action for those who earnestly look to the Church as the appointed and only possible means of all earthly improvement for society, whether in its larger divisions or in its smaller. Nothing can or ought to be done by merely maintaining negatives; I will neither write nor talk if I can help it against Newmanism, but for that true Church and Christianity, which all kinds of evil, each in its appointed time, have combined to corrupt and destroy. It seems to me, that a great point might be gained by urging the restoration of the Order of Deacons, which has been long, quoad the reality, dead. In large towns many worthy men might be found able and willing to undertake the office out of pure love, if it were understood to be not necessarily a step to the Presbyterial order, nor at all incompatible with lay
callings. You would get an immense gain by a great extension of the Church,—by a softening down that pestilent distinction between clergy and laity, which is so closely linked with the priestcraft system,-and by the actual benefits, temporal and spiritual, which such an additional number of ministers would ensure to the whole Christian congregation. And I believe that the proposal involves in it nothing which ought to shock even a Newmanite. The Canon Law, I think, makes a very wide distinction between the Deacon and the Presbyter; the Deacon according to it, is half a Layman; and could return at any time to a lay condition altogether; and I suppose no one is so mad as to maintain that a minister abstaining from all secular callings is a matter of necessity, seeing that St. Paul carried on his trade of tentmaker even when he was an Apostle. Of course the Ordination Service might remain just as it is; for in fact no alteration in the law is needed; it is only an alteration in certain customs which have long prevailed, but which have really no authority. It would be worth while, I think, to consult the Canon Law and our own Ecclesiastical Law, so far as we have any, with regard to the Order of Deacons. I have long thought that some plan of this sort might be the small end of the wedge, by which Antichrist might hereafter be burst asunder like the Dragon of Bel's temple. ...
Rugby, March 15, 1839. I have just received a letter from Sir John Franklin, who, as you know, is Governor of Van Diemen's Land, accompanied by one from the Colonial Office, asking me to recommend some man as Head Master of a great school in Van Diemen's Land, which it is wished to establish on the very highest scale, in the hope that it may hereafter become a College or University for that part of the world. [After stating the nature of the situation.]