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which were widely recognized. His word carried the weight which erudition, when united with character, ever commands in England. Such a man, living and teaching in Oxford, could not long keep out of the conflict. He did not in any cowardly way avoid the battle; it was not his nature to seek the field, but the torrent of war swept past his door, and he was compelled at first to side with the rest, and afterwards even to assume a sort of command. The movement soon passed beyond any one's control, but as long as it was restrained within certain limits Pusey was willingly conceded the position of a leader. There were three men who more than any others will be associated with the movement. Keble, Newman, and Pusey have been called its Triumvirs. To each of these has been assigned the glory of a foremost place. Yet none of them was the first to take action. They were brought in after the earliest attempt at organization. They were not present when Mr. Rose gathered his friends at Hadleigh. Palmer, Percival, Copeland, Le Bas, and Hurrell Froude were there; but Keble and Newman did not come upon the scene till later, when meetings were held at Oxford ; and only later still was Pusey associated with the movement. But though not the first in point of time, Keble, Newman, and Pusey must be reckoned the foremost men; for each of these in their way contributed some special and prominent influence to the movement. John Keble was its saint and singer; and yet it was hardly as saint or singer that he first committed himself to the active support of an organized movement. He was rather determined in this direction by the political changes which startled so many at that time. Most men have four grandparents and twice as many great grandparents; and most movements can trace their pedigree to various combinations of circumstances. It argues a shallow acquaintance with human nature and history to reduce any movement of human thought to a single cause or to label it with a single name. There are many progenitors of change and more sponsors. The nineteenth century was a generation old when the Oxford Movement began. Behind it were events which had tested and shaken national life and thought in England. The century had opened with the great Napoleonic struggle. Half a generation had passed before the troubler of Europe was overthrown at Waterloo. The agony of victory followed. The process of the restoration of commercial life and trade circulation was painful. The years which followed the peace were years of doubt and discontent. New forces were at work. Demands which national danger had kept in abeyance now made themselves heard. The Corporation Corporation and Tests Acts or rather certain objectionable clauses in those Acts were repealed to the relief of many Nonconformist consciences, and with the public approval of the more reasonable Churchmen. The two Archbishops, and the Bishops of Durham, Lincoln and Chester, approved the change. But there was strong opposition among the rank and file of Churchmen. The year following the measure of relief for the Roman Catholics passed. Here again there was a cleavage in Church opinion. William Wilberforce admitted that he hesitated, and, when he resolved to support the measure, regretted that he had to separate himself from his religious friends. But Daniel Wilson and other well-known names among the Evangelical clergy supported the measure, as did Archdeacon Daubeny, an old-fashioned High Churchman. As a rule the party of liberal Churchmen were in its favour. Oxford rejected Sir Robert (then Mr.) Peel on account of his defection from the Tory side on this question. 1828 and 1829 were to be followed by 1832. The Reform Bill was to succeed the two measures of which we have spoken. Meanwhile the position of the Church was violently assailed. Men without the Church were ready to destroy her: her anomalies were paraded in public: her resources were declared to be vast and useless: exaggeration played its usual part in extravagant estimates of her revenues. Within the bosom of the Church there were those who declared frankly that reforms were needed, that the Church should adjust herself to changing circumstances, adapt herself to modern needs, inaugurate new methods and pursue a more comprehensive policy. In the midst of this clamour, the darkest fears of Churchmen seemed to be justified by the action of the Government. In the year which followed the Reform Bill, the Government developed their attack upon the Church. They began with Ireland. They proposed the suppression of two Archbishoprics and ten Bishoprics. Indignant surprise was felt in many quarters. Churchmen felt that their alarms were abundantly justified. This was the fruit of Liberalism. Profane hands had been laid upon the ark, not to protect, but to destroy. This policy was not one of hostility alone: it was a policy of intrusion. It was the sin of Uzziah aggravated by the apostasy of Julian. The Whigs had been guilty of this thing. All the Tory feeling took flame: religious indignation made common cause with political indignation. Toryism cried out against so wholesale an attack upon national institutions. Churchmen asked whether the State had a right to do this thing? “Half the candlesticks of the Irish Church were extinguished without ecclesiastical sanction.’
Keble was a Tory and of course a strong Churchman. He was a man of rigid views, a devout and earnest believer in the divine mission of the Church. The days of these troubles seemed to him “days of rebuke.' The nation was committed by the action of the Government. The objectionable Bill had passed through the House of Commons. It was on its way through the House of Lords. Keble was appointed to preach the Assize Sermon at Oxford. It was July; the session was far advanced. The measure appeared to be destined to pass; but the final stage of the Bill had not been reached. Men were about to sacrifice a glorious inheritance for a mess of pottage. Keble delivered his soul in the Assize Sermon. His subject was National Apostasy. He summoned all who loved the Church to protect their heritage, lest those who came after them should say, “There was once here a glorious Church; but it was betrayed into the hands of libertines, for the real or affected love of a little temporary peace and good order.” The sermon was preached on July 14. A fortnight later (on July 30) the National Apostasy had taken place. The measure passed the third reading in the House of Lords. Keble's sermon was regarded as the first step in the new movement. “I have,' said Cardinal Newman, “ever considered and kept the day as the start of the religious movement of 1833.’ Keble was then just past forty years of age. He was older than Newman and older than Pusey. He had an assured position in the world of letters as the author of the ‘Christian Year'; he had a leading place in University circles as the Professor of Poetry. This established position gave weight to his words. The meetings which had already been held in Oxford had prepared the cortége. The action of Keble acted like the signal to advance. In the view of some Keble had been regarded as the real author of the movement. In the sense that his sermon gave an early impetus to it he may be regarded as an author of the movement, but it would be a mistake if we limited ourselves to a mere oint of chronology. Keble's right to be viewed as one of the Triumvirs is based on more solid grounds than such a trifle. He was one of the little band who projected the idea of the Tracts. He himself contributed four tracts to the series. He was a staunch and valued counsellor through the anxious years which followed. But in none of these services do we recognize the claim to be considered one of the foremost men in the movement. His real claim lies in the ‘Christian Year.' We are the fools of fancy still, and fondly believe that causes are advanced by argument and that men are swayed by reason. This is the misfortune only of the few. The bulk of men are appealed
appealed to through imagination and aroused through their emotions.
“It was not reason, said Disraeli, “that besieged Troy: it was not reason which sent forth the Saracen from the desert to conquer the world, that inspired the Crusades, that instituted the monastic orders; it was not reason that produced the Jesuit; above all, it was not reason that created the French Revolution. Man is only truly great when he acts from the passions; never irresistible but when he appeals to the imagination.’
This sentiment, no doubt, needs modification, but it contains a truth; and the truth is that reason may supply the body of a movement, but if it is to soar, imagination must lend it wings; and if it is to move forward upon the earth, the emotions must provide it with feet to walk. The erudition of Pusey, the dexterous sword-play of Newman's logic, achieved less for the Oxford Movement than did the poetry of Keble. The Tracts found their way into the libraries of the clergy; Newman's and Pusey's more substantial works did not travel much farther; but the ‘Christian Year' stole into every home and found a welcome place at every fireside. Its music soothed, its devotional tone satisfied the heart; it interpreted many a soul to itself, and at any rate provided an utterance for its unworded thoughts. Its reverential feeling and its loving spirit paved its way into the hearts of thousands; and with its charming mysticisms and its graceful piety there entered unconsciously into some people's minds conceptions of truth and forms of teaching which prepared them for tracts and treatises. Above all, the deep and sincere piety of its tone, its blending of evangelical thought with decorous Church order, conciliated and attracted thousands. The author of such a work seemed to them a friend. What the piety of so sweet a singer approved must be good, could not be bad. Professor Dowden has called Keble the poet of Anglicanism. The description is open to criticism. But it will be admitted that he appealed to tens of thousands whom Pusey and Newman never reached; and this wide, special, and unique influence of his poetry was of incalculable advantage to the movement, and gave him an unquestionable position among its foremost leaders.
Newman, in the view of some, was the guiding spirit of the movement. “Newman,’ says Mr. Froude, was the moving power.’, ‘Compared with him, they were all but as cyphers, and he the indicating number.’” “The genius of Newman was its strength.” “The strong master mind of the whole movement was that of J. H. Newman.’t We are disposed to demur to these conclusions. They can be accepted only with certain important modifications. If it only be meant that there was a certain unique charm about Newman, that his subtlety of intellect, his peculiarly arresting manner, his mode of life, the air of mystery which enwrapped him, his personal appearance, his mastery of expression gave him an ascendency and position unlike that of others in the movement, we should not dispute the view that the movement gained special strength from the genius of Newman. But if it be meant that he became the heart and head, the real central leader, dominating and directing it by his force of individual will and judgment, then we cannot accept the statement. Newman's mind was not of the order of masterminds in this sense. He was never to his followers what John Wesley was to his ; he never inspired the enthusiasm, consolidated the force, directed the energies and organized the capacities of his disciples as did Mohammed, or Loyola. He had no genius in that way. The first and indispensable condition of a mastermind of this character is confidence in himself, in his mission, in his call, in his message. But none of these Newman possessed: neither in quality of mind nor in moral force was he equal to the strain of such a position. He was conspicuously and perpetually a doubter; when his language was strongest, he was nearest to doubt. It was not trust in a doctrine which made him speak strongly, but dread of the arguments which his sceptical mind well knew could be brought against it. Sincerely desirous of finding truth, he possessed a mind which never could have rested on any arguments by which truth could be established. . His nimble intellect was like quicksilver, which eluded pursuit and forsook every resting-place as soon as it was found. He could project himself into any theological position, but he could never satisfy himself with any. He never could realize that the shadow thrown by a circle might appear as an ellipse. Morally sincere, he seemed intellectually disingenuous, because every stage of opinion was only provisional. Truth, as it is understood by more robust but less subtle minds, would never have sufficed for him. He longed for an enforced belief; he desired release from the responsibility of thought. He yearned for a sweet compulsion which would bring a rest from the weariness of the sophistry in which, notwithstanding, he took a gymnastic delight. Sentimental, yet logical ; astute, yet simple; a sceptic, yet envious of dogmatism; the victim of a thousand
i. Froude, ‘Oxford Counter-Movement.' Short Studies, 4th series, pp. 260,