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and contempt, hy annihilating argumentatively and rationally his allegations in his own defence and against God. When it comes to this issue, he might say, God is powerless, and so are all his defend
He says that I was in the wrong, and I say that he was, and they take his word for it, without proof or reason. They call it a profound mystery, and they base the system of the universe on blind faith. In this Satan might well glory, as at least a drawn battle between himself and God.”
This is certainly very extraordinary writing. It is little, if at all, short of blasphemy. Is it really so, that God and Satan are to be put on trial before the universe, and a decision is to made between them? It is difficult to see how a pious man could permit himself so to write or even think about God. We fear that Dr. Beecher's mind is disordered on this sul But this comes of the determination to understand every thing, and to bring God into subjection to our principles of honor and of right. Dr. Beecher has forgotten the axiom, which even a child should know, that what God does and says is necessarily right. He has forgotten the simple idea that to be in opposition to God is necessarily to be wrong. His reason has risen to a rebellious and arrogant, if not blasphemous, height. Where is his faith? Where is his pious ignorance? Where is that docile, humble, childlike spirit, which is necessary to prepare us for the kingdom of Christ ?
DR. NEWMAN'S APOLOGY FOR HIS OWN LIFE.
BY THE REV. J. T. TUCKER, HOLLISTON, MASS. Apologia Pro Vita Sua : Being a Reply to a Pamphlet entitled " What, then, does Dr. Newman mean?” By JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, D.D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1865. .
THE quarrels of authors are not yet ended. The din and dust of another war of words have filled the ears and eyes of the British public for some months past, of which this volume is the record. Its history is this : in a paper communicated by him to a London Monthly, the Rev. Charles Kingsley wrote some trenchant things about the untruthful spirit of the Roman Catholic church; referring, for proof of his strictures, to a sentence in Dr. Newman's sermons : " Father Newman informs us that truth for its own sake need not, and, on the whole, ought not, to be a virtue with the Roman clergy.” An interchange of notes was the consequence, which speedily passed from a studied effort to maintain politeness into a rough passage at arms between these doughty belligerents. If the clerical novelist had the better of the historical argument, in this debate, the papal champion kept the vantage on the score of cool and wary temper. The muscular Christianity of Mr. Kingsley was hardly a match for the easy, practiced fence of his antagonist, who certainly has not been a dull student in casuisty. The beginning of the book and its long appendix bristle with the exclamation points, et cetera, of this polemical pamphleteering. This would not long detain us, had not the sharpening of these pens brought from one of the parties a lengthy and minute history of his own religious opinions and transitions, which forms the bulk of this publication. To this we shall briefly turn our attention.
Schoolboys commonly think that William Pitt acted wisely in declining, before the British Commons, either to deny or extenuate " the atrocious crime of being a young man.” To apologise for the fact of one's existence would seem to be at least equally superfluous. To apologise for the way in which one has lived might be a quite proper thing. If, however, Dr. Newman wishes us to take the very cloistral title of his volume in the ecclesiastical sense of a defence or vindication of his manner of life from his youth up, we would suggest that such justifications had better be left, as a general rule, to the influence of time, and the good sense of posterity. If a person is where and what he ought to be, he is quite safe in the hands of those who shall come after him. If he has committed some great mistake, after ages will be as sure to find it out, and give a verdict accordingly, unless the hungry wave of oblivion make a clean sweep of both his name and memory. Dr. Newman's book has a kind of double sense — an apology (as we use the word) for the early, and a defence of the later section of his life, just reversing our idea of the proprieties of the case. He seems himself not to be over confident of the wisdom of his undertaking, though putting a brave face upon it. "I have done various bold
things in my life : this is the boldest : and were I not sure I should after all succeed in my object, it would be madness to set about it.” So far he has succeeded to write in pure and classical English the story of his passage from the Anglican to the Romish church. Beyond this, his success is, to our mind, much of a piece with his who, having gone out and hanged himself, " burst asunder in the midst, xal te zien zárta td ordúyxra aútoū.”-Acts i. 18.
The salient points of this ecclesiastic's life are these. Born, in 1801, into the English church, and educated with distinguished honors at its university of Oxford, he embarked in an effort to restore the spirit and working of that great establishment to a closer conformity, as he supposed, to the primitive churchmanship; which impracticable voyage landed him, in 1845, with several of his associates, at Rome. The strictly personal aspects of this career have a degree of interest; its historical relations to the religious life of England, for a generation past, give it, however, its chief claim to our notice.
Gathering up a few childish tendencies of the author, as furnishing a clue to his subsequent development, we find his imagination unusually active, at a very early period; running, as he says,
“On unknown influences, on magical powers, and talismans. ... I thought life might be a dream, or I an angel, and all this world a deception, my fellow angels, by a playful device, concealing themselves from me, and deceiving me with the semblance of a material world. ... I was very superstitious, and for some time previous to ... fifteen, used constantly to cross myself on going into the dark.'
- p. 54.
Yet, while he was drawing crosses and strings of beads in his boyish; Latin verse-books, he tells us that he was so steeped in Protestantism that, at this same fifteen, he would erase from his Gradus such words as "Papa," " Christi Vicarius,"
Christi Vicarius," " sacer interpres," and the like, and substitute for them "epithets so vile that I can not bring myself to write them down here.”- p. 161. These traces of a disposition to follow strong impulses, and an almost blind instinct at times, show themselves more or less, throughout this record. With all his cultivated logic and dialectic, Dr. Newman is essentially an enthusiast.
At fifteen, too, he had come under a strong influence from the writings of Romaine, Thomas Scott, and other Calvinistic divines, and took up the idea that himself was " predestined to salvation," with the corollary of " the doctrine of final perseverance.” That this was no intelligent work of the Spirit and truth of Christ within him is manifest. It was a part of "those childish imaginations which I have mentioned.” Law's Serious Call wrought upon him a similar persuasion of the "main Catholic doctrine of the warfare between the city of God and the powers of darkness." Books and living men were always influencing this excessive constitutional impressibility, in one direction or another. Dr. Newman has found a good many prosaic passages in life, and not a few facts that are, as well as seem to be. But his mind is originally poetical, as really, if not as highly so, as that of his friend and, for years, his colaborer, Keble. How richly he is thus endowed, his contributions to the Lyra Apostolica illustrate. Imagination, sympathetic feeling, and a certain latent impetuosity have been his guides more than a healthy, vigorous, Christian common sense.
Milner's Church History and Newton on the Prophecies helped the growth of his ecclesiastical sentiments in these adolescent days; the first enamoring him of the saintly men of the early ages; the second intensifying his anti-popish convictions, and leaving " a stain on my imagination ” for another twenty years. Richard Whately, the future archbishop, became known to him at the University, " who first taught me to weigh my words, and to be cautious in my statements.” There is a succession of very spirited sketches of celebrated churchmen scattered through these pages which have all the charm of life-like, personal anecdote. Whately’s is one of them. He was Newman's complete opposite, yet for a while they were intimate. The acute logician never saw anything double. There was no glamour about him. Strong, keen, analytical, he could not tolerate walking backward with bandaged vision. Given to overrationalizing, if anything, he was content with Episcopacy as he found it, shrewdly doubting if it was safe to attempt to move to a new locality an old house like that. With a large preponderance of brain over heart, he was nevertheless generous and "particularly loyal to his friends." But his friends must think more nearly with him than the present author, to walk long upon his straight and well-graded path. Their companionship was brief. John Keble, the sweet singer of the Christian Year, another Heber in the loveliness of his nature and the purity of his genius, " gentle, courteous and unaffected,” was a longer associate of his retrogressive fellow student. Fronde, who died young, a brilliant man, full of crude, germinating ideas, who " had an intellect as critical and logical as it was speculative and bold,” and whose premature decease alone saved him from speedily avowing the conversion to popery which had already taken place, exerted a marked influence on our autobiographer. Dr. Pusey came later into his intimacy, whose scholarship and high position, both social and sacerdotal, gave name to the movement of which Newman was really the head and soul, and to which it is time that we more distinctly advert.
Twenty years ago the famous Tracts for the Times were making as great a sensation in the ecclesiastical world as has recently been caused by their successors in religious scandal, the Essays and Reviews. Like these latter emanations from the English church, they were the result of causes which had long been at work in that communion. Such waifs are not found along the shore of human thought, because a few inventive minds determine to construct and set there some strange and startling thing which shall create a temporary sensation. They are thrown up on a long wave which rolls in from the vast deep of past events, and changes in the views of men for which it is not always easy to account. The immediate aim of these Tractarians was to combat, on one side, the tendency to allow the state to dominate the church almost without limit, and, on the other side, to foreclose the minds of her people against the increasing drift thitherward of liberalistic opinions in theology and church-life. They sought to create "a reaction from” what they called "the dry and superficial character of the religious teachings and the literature of the last generation”; to deepen the reverence of the national heart for sacred things; to check the secularizing alike of the individual adherents of the church, and of her public polity. Thus stated, the object was a good one. fessedly looked to a freer church, and a higher spirituality in her membership and ministers. But the ideal of all this was from