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TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN.
Rugby, May 16, 1836. I have no thought of writing any thing about the Jew Bill or Church Reform at present. If the Jew Bill comes forward, I shall perhaps petition against it, either in common with the clergy of the neighbourhood, whom I could on that question join, though not probably in my reasons for opposing it; or else singly, to state my own views as a Liberal in being unfavourable to any measure of the present government. Undoubtedly, I think that up to 1795 or 6, whenever the elective franchise was granted to the Catholics, the Protestants were de facto the only citizens of Ireland; and that the Catholic claims could not then be urged on the same ground that they are now. Till that time one must have appealed to a higher law, and asked by what right the Protestants had become the only citizens of Ireland; it was then a question of the Jus Gentium, now it is merely one of Jus Civile. I never have justified the practice of one race in wresting another's country from it; I only say that every people in that country which is rightfully theirs, may establish their own institutions and their own ideas; and that no stranger has any title whatever to become a member of that nation, unless he adopts their institutions and ideas. It is not what a government may impose upon its subjects, but what a people may agree upon for themselves; and, though England does not belong to the king, yet it belongs to the English; and the English may most justly say that they will admit no stranger to be one of their society. If they say that they will admit him, that is, if Parliament pass the Jew Bill, I do not at all dispute their right as Englishmen to do So,
and as an Englishman I owe obedience to their decision; but I think they make England cease to be the nóms of a Christian, and we, like the old Christians, shall then become in our turn napoixou. Politically, if we are the minority, I see no injustice in this, but I think that we may wonder a little at those of the majority, who are Christians; seeing that we as Englishmen have a nearer claim to English citizenship than the Jews can have; and Christians being the majority, ought, I think, to establish their own ideas in their own land.
Meanwhile, I think that I shall fulfil my intention of publishing the three Pastoral Epistles, (Timothy and Titus,) with Notes and Dissertations. I should print in parallel columns, the Greek Text, as correctly as I could give it; the Latin Vulgate; and the English authorized version, corrected, noticing every correction by printing it in a smaller type, and marking with obeli such words or expressions in our translation as I think require amendment, but which I cannot amend to my satisfaction. The Dissertations would embrace naturally every point on which the Oxford Judaizers have set up their heresy ;-the priesthood, sacraments, apostolical succession, tradition, the church, and above all would contain the positive opposite to all their idolatries, the doctrine of the Person of Christ ; not his Church, not His sacraments, not His teaching, not even the truths about Him, nor the virtues which He most enforces, but Himself ; that only object which bars fanaticism and idolatry on the one hand, and gives life and power to all morality on the other. And this is what St. Paul constantly opposes to the several idolatries of the Judaizers, see Colossians ii. and 1 Timothy iv., connecting with it the last verse of chapter iii., which has been so strangely severed from its context.
I never yet in my life made any application for preferment, nor have I desired it. But I confess, if Hampden is to be made a Bishop, I wish that they would put me in his place at Oxford. I should be a very great loser in point of income by the change, and, till lately, I have never fancied that I could be more useful anywhere else than at Rugby. But I think under present circumstances that I could do more good at Oxford. I could not supply your place, but I could supply it better than it is supplied now. I should have a large body of very promising young men
disposed to listen to me for old affection's sake, and my fondness for young men's society would soon bring others about me whom I might influence. I should be of weight from my classical knowledge, and I am old enough now to set down many of the men who are foremost in spreading their mischief, and to give some sanction of authority to those who think as I do, but who at present want a man to lean upon.
They could not get up the same clamour against me, for the bugbear of Apostolical Succession would not do, and it would puzzle even to get up a charge of Socinianism against me out of my Sermons. Furthermore, my spirit of pugnaciousness would rejoice in fighting out the battle with the Judaizers, as it were in a saw-pit. ... I am satisfied that we should live in Oxford amidst any quantity of abuse unhurt in health or spirits, and I should expatiate as heretofore in Bagley Wood and on Shotover. Do not understand this as implying any weariness with Rugby;—far from it;— I have got a very effective position here, which I would only quit for one which seems even more effective; but I keep one great place of education sound and free, and unavoidably gain an influence with many young men, and endeavour to make them see that they ought to think on and understand a subject, before they take up a party view, about it. I hunger sometimes for more time for writing; but I do not indulge the feeling; and on the other hand, I think my love of tuition rather grows upon me.
TO A. P. STANLEY, ESQ.
Rugby, May 24, 1836. Now with regard to the Newmanites. I do not call them bad men, nor would I deny their many good qualities; ..... I judge of them as I do commonly of mixed characters, where the noble and the base, the good and the bad, are strangely mixed up together. There is an ascending scale from the grossest personal
selfishness, such as that of Cæsar or Napoleon, to party selfishness, such as that of Sylla, or fanatical selfishness, that is the idolatry of an idea or a principle, such as that of Robespierre and Dominic, and some of the Covenanters. In all these, except perhaps the first, we feel a sympathy more or less, because there is something of personal self-devotion and sincerity ; but Fanaticism is idolatry, and it has the moral evil of idolatry in it; that is, a fanatic worships something which is the creature of his own devices, and thus even his self-devotion in support of it is only an apparent self-sacrifice, for it is in fact making the parts of his nature or his mind, which he least values, offer sacrifice to that which he most values. The moral fault, as it appears to me, is in the idolatry,--the setting up some idea which is most kindred to our own winds, and then putting it in the place of Christ, who alone cannot be made an idol, and cannot inspire fanaticism, because He combines all ideas of perfection, and exhibits them in their just harmony and combination. Now to my own mind, by its natural tendency,--that is, taking my mind at its best,-truth and justice would be the idols that I should follow; and they would be idols, for they would not supply all the food that the mind wants, and,
a Robespierre, he used to distinguish from Danton, and others of the revolutionary leaders, as being a sincere fanatic in the cause of Republicanism. “ The life and character of Robespierre has to me a most important lesson,” he said once to a former pupil, with the emphasis of one who had studied it for his own profit; “it shows the frightful consequences of making every thing give way to a favourite notion. The man was a just man, and humane naturally, but he would narrow every thing to meet his own views, and nothing could check him at last. It is a most solemn warning to us, of what fanaticism may lead to in God's world.” To Dominic, in allusion to his supposed share in the Albigensian crusade, and the foundation of the inquisition, he used to apply St. Paul's words, 1 Cor. iv. 15.
whilst worshipping them, reverence and humility and tenderness might very likely be forgotten. But Christ Him. self includes at once truth and justice, and all these other qualities too. In other men I cannot trace exactly the origin of the idolatry, except by accident in some particular cases.
But it is clear to me that Newman and his party are idolaters; they put Christ's Church and Christ's Sacraments, and Christ's ministers, in the place of Christ Himself; and, these being only imperfect ideas, the unreserved worship of them unavoidably tends to the neglect of other ideas no less important; and thence some passion or other loses its proper and intended check, and the moral evil follows. Thus it is that narrow-mindedness tends to wickedness, because it does not extend its watchfulness to every part of our moral nature, for then it would not be narrow-mindedness; and this neglect fosters the growth of evil in the parts that are so neglected. Thus a man may “give all his goods to feed the poor, and yet be nothing ;" where I do not understand it of giving out of mere ostentation, or with a view to gain influence, but that a man may have one or more virtues, such as are according to his favourite ideas, in very great perfection, and still be nothing; because these ideas are his idols, and, worshipping them with all his heart, there is a portion of his heart, more or less considerable, left without its proper object, guide, and nourishment, and so this portion is left to the dominion of evil. Other men, and these the mass of mankind, go wrong either from having no favourite ideas at all, and living wholly at random, or após nãovny, -or else from having ideas but indistinctly, and paying them but little worship, so that here too the common world about them gives the impression to their minds, and thus they are evil. But the best men, I think, are those who, worshipping Christ and no idol, and thus having got hold of the true idea, yet from want of faith cannot always realize it, and so have parts of their lives more or less out of that influence which should keep them right,-and thus they