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John Henry Newman

John Henry Cardinal Newman

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (21 February 180111 August 1890) was an English convert to Catholicism, later made a cardinal.

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  • There is in stillness oft a magic power
    To calm the breast, when struggling passions lower;
    Touch'd by its influence, in the soul arise
    Diviner feelings, kindred with the skies.
  • Sin can read sin, but dimly scans high grace.
  • Christian! hence learn to do thy part,
    And leave the rest to Heaven.
  • Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
    Lead Thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home—
    Lead Thou me on!
    Keep Thou my feet: I do not ask to see
    The distant scene,—one step enough for me.
  • And with the morn those angel faces smile
    Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.
  • May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done! Then in His mercy may He give us safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last!
  • The more I read of Athanasius, Theodoret, etc, the more I see that the ancients did make the Scriptures the basis of their belief. The only question is, would they have done so in another point besides the θεολογία (theology), etc, which happened in the early ages to be in discussion? I incline to say the Creed is the faith necessary to salvation, as well as to Church communion, and to maintain that Scripture, according to the Fathers, is the authentic record and document of this faith.
    It surely is reasonable that 'necessary to salvation' should apply to the Baptismal Creed: 'In the name of,' etc (vid. He who believeth etc.). Now the Apostles' Creed is nothing but this; for the Holy Catholic Church, etc [in it] are but the medium through which God comes to us. Now this θεολογία, I say, the Fathers do certainly rest on Scripture, as upon two tables of stone. I am surprised more and more to see how entirely they fall into Hawkins’s theory even in set words, that Scripture proves and the Church teaches.[1]
    I believe it would be extremely difficult to show that tradition is ever considered by them (in matters of faith) more than interpretative of Scripture. It seems that when a heresy rose they said at once ‘That is not according to the Church's teaching,’ i.e. they decided it by the praejudicium [N.B. prescription] of authority.
    Again, when they met together in council, they brought the witness of tradition as a matter of fact, but when they discussed the matter in council, cleared their views, etc., proved their power, they always went to Scripture alone. They never said 'It must be so and so, because St. Cyrian says this, St. Clement explains in his third book of the "Paedagogue," etc.' and with reason; for the Fathers are a witness only as one voice, not in individual instances, or, much less, isolated passages, but every word of Scripture is inspired and available.
    • To Richard Hurrell Froude, August 23, 1835.
    • Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman During His Life in the English Church, 1890, Anne Mozley, ed., Longmans’s Green & Co., London, New York, Volume 2, p. 113. [2]
  • O my brethren, O kind and affectionate hearts, O loving friends, should you know any one whose lot it has been, by writing or by word of mouth, in some degree to help you thus to act; if he has ever told you what you knew about yourselves, or what you did not know; has read to you your wants or feelings, and comforted you by the very reading; has made you feel that there was a higher life than this daily one, and a brighter world than that you see; or encouraged you, or sobered you, or opened a way to the inquiring, or soothed the perplexed; if what he has said or done has ever made you take interest in him, and feel well inclined towards him; remember such a one in time to come, though you hear him not, and pray for him, that in all things he may know God's will, and at all times he may be ready to fulfil it.
  • We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.
    • Letter to Mrs William Froude, 27 June 1848.
  • Firmly I believe and truly God is Three, and God is One;
    And I next acknowledge duly Manhood taken by the Son.
  • So living Nature, not dull Art,
    Shall plan my ways and rule my heart.
  • Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem!
    • Translation: From shadows and symbols into the truth!
    • His own epitaph at Edgbaston

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845)Edit

To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
  • To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.
    • Introduction, Part 5.
  • In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
    • Chapter 1, Section 1, Part 7.

Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England (1851)Edit

  • After he had gone over the mansion, his entertainer asked him what he thought of the splendours it contained; and he in reply did full justice to the riches of its owner and the skill of its decorators, but he added, "Lions would have fared better, had lions been the artists."
    • Lecture I, Section 1.
  • Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it.
    • Lecture IX

The Idea of a University (1873)Edit

  • There is a knowledge which is desirable, though nothing come of it, as being of itself a treasure, and a sufficient remuneration of years of labor.
    • Discourse V, pt. 6.
  • Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another.
    • Discourse V, pt. 9.
  • Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentlemen, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life.
    • Discourse V, pt. 9.
  • The world is content with setting right the surface of things.
    • Discourse VIII, pt. 8.
  • A great memory does not make a philosopher, any more than a dictionary can be called grammar.
    • Discourse VIII, pt. 10.

Quotes about NewmanEdit

  • At dinner we talked of Newman, whose Dream of Gerontius Gladstone puts very high, so high that he speaks of it in the same breath with the Divina Commedia. At length he asked, "Which of his writings will be read in a hundred years?" "Well," said Henry Smith, "certainly his hymn, 'Lead kindly Light,' and 'The Parting of Friends,' the sermon he preached before leaving Littlemore." "I go further," said Gladstone. "I think all his parochial sermons will be read."
  • [His earlier poems are] unequalled for grandeur of outline, purity of taste and radiance of total effect.
    • R.H. Hutton; cited in: Hugh Chisholm. The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Volume 19, (1911), p. 519

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