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I was under Dr. Whately's influence I had no temptation to be less zealous for the great dogmas of the faith, and at various times I used to resist such trains of thought on his part as seemed to me (rightly or wrongly) to obscure them. Such was the fundamental principle of the movement of 1833.
2. Secondly, I was confident in the truth of a certain. definite religious teaching, based upon this foundation of dogma, viz. that there was a visible Church, with sacraments and rites, which are the channels of invisible grace. I thought that this was the doctrine of Scripture, of the early Church, and of the Anglican Church. Here, again, I have not changed in opinion; I am as certain now on this point as I was in 1833, and have never ceased to be certain. In 1834 and the following years I put this ecclesiastical doctrine on a broader basis, after reading Laud, Bramhall, and Stillingfleet, and other Anglican divines, on the one hand, and after prosecuting the study of the Fathers on the other; but the doctrine of 1833 was strengthened in me, not changed. When I began the "Tracts for the Times" I rested the main doctrine, of which I am speaking, upon Scripture, on the Anglican Prayer Book, and on St. Ignatius' Epistles. (1.) As to the existence of a visible Church, I especially argued out the point from Scripture in Tract II., viz. from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. (2.) As to the Sacraments and Sacramental rites, I stood on the Prayer Book. . . (3.) And as to the Episcopal system, I founded it upon the Epistles of St. Ignatius. . . One passage especially impressed itself upon me: speaking of cases of disobedience to ecclesiastical authority, he says, "A man does not deceive that Bishop whom he sees, but he practises rather with the Bishop Invisible, and so the question is not with flesh, but with God, who knows the
secret heart." I wished to act on this principle to the letter, and I may say with confidence that I never consciously transgressed it. I loved to act as feeling myself in my Bishop's sight, as if it were the sight of God. It was one of my special supports and safeguards against myself; I could not go very wrong while I had reason to believe that I was in no respect displeasing him. It was not a mere formal obedience to rule that I put before me, but I desired to please him personally, as I considered him set over me by the Divine Hand. I was strict in observing my clerical engagements, not only because they were engagements, but because I considered myself simply as the servant and instrument of my Bishop. I did not care much for the Bench of Bishops, except as they might be the voice of my Church; nor should I have cared much for a Provincial Council, nor for a Diocesan Synod, presided over by my Bishop; all these matters seemed to me to be jure ecclesiastico; but what to me was jure divino, was the voice of my Bishop in his own person. My own Bishop was my Pope; I knew no other; the successor of the Apostles, the Vicar of Christ. This was but a practical exhibition of the Anglican theory of Church Government, as I had already drawn it out myself, after various Anglican Divines. This continued all through my course. When at length, in 1845, I wrote to Bishop Wiseman, in whose Vicariate I found myself, to announce my conversion, I could find nothing better to say to him than that I would obey the Pope as I had obeyed my own Bishop in the Anglican Church.
And now, in concluding my remarks on the second. point on which my confidence rested, I repeat, that here again I have no retractation to announce as to its main outlines. While I am now as clear in my acceptance of the principle of dogma, as I was in 1833 and 1816, so again
I am now as firm in my belief of a visible Church, of the authority of Bishops, of the grace of the Sacraments, of the religious worth of works of penance, as I was in 1833. I have added Articles to my Creed, but the old ones, which I then held with a Divine faith, remain.
3. But now, as to the third point on which I stood in 1833, and which I have utterly renounced and trampled upon since, my then view of the Church of Rome,-I will speak about it as exactly as I can. When I was young, as I have said already, and after I was grown up, I thought the Pope to be anti-Christ. At Christmas, 1824-5, I preached a sermon to that effect. But in 1827 I accepted eagerly the stanza in the "Christian Year," which many people thought too charitable, "Speak gently of thy sister's fall." From the time I knew Froude I got less and less bitter on the subject. . . When it was that in my deliberate judgment I gave up the notion altogether in any shape, that some special reproach was attached to the name [of the Church of Rome], I cannot tell; but I had a shrinking from renouncing it, even when my reason so ordered me, from a sort of conscience or prejudice, I think up to 1843. Moreover, at least during the Tract Movement, I thought the essence of her offence to consist in the honours which she paid to the Blessed Virgin and the Saints; and the more I grew in devotion, both to the Saints and to our Lady, the more impatient was I at the Roman practices, as if those glorified creations of God must be gravely shocked, if pain could be theirs, at the undue veneration of which they were the objects.
On the other hand, Hurrell Froude, in his familiar conversations, was always tending to rub the idea out of my mind. In a passage of one of his letters from abroad, alluding, I suppose, to what I used to say in opposition to him, he observes: "I think people are injudicious who
talk against the Roman Catholics for worshipping saints, and honouring the Virgin and images, &c. These things may perhaps be idolatrous; I cannot make up my mind about it; but to my mind it is the Carnival that is real practical idolatry, as it is written, 'the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."" The Carnival, I observe in passing, is, in fact, one of those very excesses to which, for at least three centuries, religious Catholics have ever opposed themselves, as we see in the life of St. Philip, to say nothing of the present day; but this we did not then know. Moreover, from Froude I learnt to admire the great Medieval Pontiffs. . . Then, when I was abroad, the sight of so many great places, venerable shrines, and noble churches, much impressed my imagination, and my heart was touched also. Making an expedition on foot across some wild country in Sicily, at six in the morning I came upon a small church; I heard voices, and I looked in. It was crowded, and the congregation was singing. Of course it was the Mass, though I did not know it at the time. And, in my weary days at Palermo, I was not ungrateful for the comfort which I had received in frequenting the churches; nor did I ever forget it. Then, again, her zealous maintenance of the doctrine and the rule of celibacy which I recognized as Apostolic, and her faithful agreement with Antiquity in so many other points which were dear to me, was an argument as well as a plea in favour of the great Church of Rome. Thus I learnt to have tender feelings towards her; but still my reason was not affected at all. My judgment was against her, when viewed as an institution, as truly as it had ever been. .
As a matter, then, of simple conscience, though it went against my feelings, I felt it to be a duty to protest against the Church of Rome. And besides this, it was a duty, because the prescription of such a protest was a living
principle of my own Church, as expressed not simply in a catena, but by a consensus of her divines, and by the voice of her people. Moreover, such a protest was necessary as an integral portion of her controversial basis; for I adopted the argument of Bernard Gilpin, that Protestants "were not able to give any firm and solid reason of the separation, besides this, to wit, that the Pope is antiChrist." But while I thus thought such a protest to be based upon truth, and to be a religious duty, and a rule of Anglicanism, and a necessity of the case, I did not at all like the work. ("Apologia," pp. 36-55.)
DURING the first year of the Tracts the attack [of the Liberals] upon the University began. In November, 1834, was sent to me, by Dr. Hampden, the second edition of his Pamphlet, entitled, "Observations on Religious Dissent; with particular reference to the use of Theological Tests in the University." In this pamphlet it was maintained that Religion is distinct from Theological Opinion; that it is but a common prejudice to identify theological propositions, methodically deduced and stated, with the simple religion of Christ, and that under Theological Opinion were to be placed the Trinitarian doctrine and the Unitarian; that a dogma was a theological opinion formally insisted on; that speculation always left an opening for improvement; that the Church of England was not dogmatic in its spirit, though the wording of its formularies might often carry