The careers of Newman and Carlyle were no more similar than their personalities. Newman spent his life in the heat of theological controversy. He was the leader and kindling spiritual force of the Oxford Movement, 1833-1845, often called the Tractarian Movement from “Tracts for the Times.” This was a movement within the Church of England to revive the Catholic doctrines which had always been retained in the Prayer Book. These doctrines were the apostolic succession, the priesthood, the sacramental system, and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Anglican Church was sadly in need of zeal. “Instead of heroic martyr Conduct,” said Carlyle〖H. C., xxv, 338.〗 in 1831, “and inspired and soul-inspiring Eloquence, whereby Religion itself were brought home to our living bosoms, to live and reign there, we have ‘Discourses on the Evidences,’ endeavoring, with smallest result, to make it probable that such a thing as Religion exists.” “Soul-inspiring eloquence” was just what Newman brought to the Movement. Sunday after Sunday, year after year, his sermons and tracts quickened the spirit of men. A mysterious veneration gathered round him. “In Oriel Lane light-hearted undergraduates would drop their voices and whisper, ‘There’s Newman.”’ In his eyes the Christian Church was “the concrete representative of things invisible.” The pageant of ritual was necessary to bring home the symbolism of the Church to the imagination. Dogmas, far from being barnacles on Scriptural tradition, were defenses erected by authority to preserve the spirit of primitive Christianity against barnacles. Newman had defended the Church of England as the Via Media—the middle road—between the theology of the Church of Rome and the theology of Calvinism. But he and his younger followers gradually came to believe that the weight of authority and permanence was on the side of Rome. Tract 90, on the Catholic doctrines in the Thirty-nine Articles, the bulwarks of the Protestant Church, raised a storm of opposition in that church. And finally in a dramatic scene at the Convocation of February 13, 1845, the Oxford Movement was snuffed out. Newman at once left the Via Media for the Via Appia and entered the Roman Catholic Church. Several years later, in 1864, he became involved in a controversy with Charles Kingsley, during which he wrote his religious autobiography, the “Apologia pro Vita Sua.”〖See George Moore’s “Salve,” chap. xv, for a vigorous attack on Newman’s style.〗 This famous book, though it cannot be considered a convincing refutation of the charges which Kingsley brought against Rome, was a triumphant vindication of Newman’s integrity and nobility of spirit.

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