John Henry Newman
English cleric, cardinal and saint
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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.
- Solitude (1818).
- Time hath a taming hand.
- Persecution, st. 3 (1832).
- Sin can read sin, but dimly scans high grace.
- Isaac (1833).
- Christian! hence learn to do thy part,
And leave the rest to Heaven.
- St. Paul at Melita, st. 3 (1833).
- 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.
- The Pillar of the Cloud, st. 1 (1833).
- And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since and lost awhile.
- The Pillar of the Cloud, st. 3 (1833).
- 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!
- Sermon 20 (1834).
- 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.
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.
- Surely, there is at this day a confederacy of evil, marshalling its hosts from all parts of the world, organizing itself, taking its measures, enclosing the Church of CHRIST as in a net, and preparing the way for a general apostasy from it. Whether this very apostasy is to give birth to Antichrist, or whether he is still to be delayed, we cannot know; but at any rate this apostasy, and all its tokens, and instruments, are of the Evil One and savour of death. Far be it from any of us to be of those simple ones, who are taken in that snare which is circling around us! Far be it from us to be seduced with the fair promises in which Satan is sure to hide his poison! Do you think he is so unskilful in his craft, as to ask you openly and plainly to join him in his warfare against the Truth? No; he offers you baits to tempt you. He promises you civil liberty; he promises you equality; he promises you trade and wealth; he promises you a remission of taxes; he promises you reform. This is the way in which he conceals from you the kind of work to which he is putting you; he tempts you to rail against your rulers and superiors; he does so himself, and induces you to imitate him; or he promises you illumination, he offers you knowledge, science, philosophy, enlargement of mind. He scoffs at times gone by; he scoffs at every institution which reveres them. He prompts you what to say, and then listens to you, and praises you, and encourages you. He bids you mount aloft. He shows you how to become as gods. Then he laughs and jokes with you, and gets intimate with you; he takes your hand, and gets his fingers between yours, and grasps them, and then you are his.
- Tract 83 (29 June 1838).
- Flagrant evils cure themselves by being flagrant.
- Essays Volume II, Essay XIV: "Private Judgment" British Critic (July 1841).
- 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.
- Sermon 26: 'The Parting of Friends' (sermon preached on Monday, 25 September, 1843.).
- We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.
- Letter to Mrs William Froude, 27 June 1848.
- Where good and ill together blent,
Wage an undying strife.
- Growth is the only evidence of life.
- Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864).
- Now by Liberalism I mean false liberty of thought, or the exercise of thought upon matters, in which, from the constitution of the human mind, thought cannot be brought to any successful issue, and therefore is out of place. Among such matters are first principles of whatever kind; and of these the most sacred and momentous are especially to be reckoned the truths of Revelation. Liberalism then is the mistake of subjecting to human judgment those revealed doctrines which are in their nature beyond and independent of it, and of claiming to determine on intrinsic grounds the truth and value of propositions which rest for their reception simply on the external authority of the Divine Word.
- Note A, ‘Liberalism’ (1865), quoted in John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, ed. Martin J. Svaglic (1967), pp. 255–56
- Firmly I believe and truly God is Three, and God is One;
And I next acknowledge duly Manhood taken by the Son.
- The Dream of Gerontius, Pt. I (1866).
- It is thy very energy of thought
Which keeps thee from thy God.
- The Dream of Gerontius, Pt. III (1866).
- So living Nature, not dull Art,
Shall plan my ways and rule my heart.
- Nature and Art, st. 12 (1868).
- Now what is it that moves our very hearts and sickens us so much at cruelty shown to poor brutes? … They have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance; it is the cowardice and tyranny of which they are the victims which make their sufferings so especially touching. Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God. … There is something so very dreadful, so Satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.
- 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 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
Apologia Pro Vita Sua [A defense of one's own life] (1864)Edit
- I do not shrink from uttering my firm conviction that it would be a gain to the country were it vastly more superstitious, more bigoted, more gloomy, more fierce in its religion than at present it shows itself to be.
- Moreover, there is this harm too, and one of vast extent, and touching men generally, that by insincerity and lying faith and truth are lost, which are the firmest bonds of human society, and, when they are lost, supreme confusion follows in life, so that men seem in nothing to differ from devils.
- As I have already said, there are but two alternatives, the way to Rome, and the way to Atheism.
- The Catholic Church claims, not only to judge infallibly on religious questions, but to animadvert on opinions in secular matters which bear upon religion, on matters of philosophy, of science, of literature, of history, and it demands our submission to her claim. It claims to censure books, to silence authors, and to forbid discussions. In all this it does not so much speak doctrinally, as enforce measures of discipline. It must of course be obeyed without a word, and perhaps in process of time it will tacitly recede from its own injunctions. In such cases the question of faith does not come in; for what is matter of faith is true for all times, and never can be unsaid.
- From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery.
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. These are the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University; I am advocating, I shall illustrate and insist upon them; but still, I repeat, they are no guarantee for sanctity or even for conscientiousness, they may attach to the man of the world, to the profligate, to the heartless,—pleasant, alas, and attractive as he shows when decked out in them.
- Discourse V, pt. 9.
- The world is content with setting right the surface of things.
- Discourse VIII, pt. 8.
- It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain.
- 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."
- Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff, in Notes from a Diary, 1851-1901: 1873-1881 (1898), p. 140.
- [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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