Essays Critical & Historical, Volume 1
John Henry Newman

Contents
Background
Dedication
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Title Page

Revised August, 2002—NR.

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Contents

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Background

    Dublin Review, January 1872

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Dedication

TO
WILLIAM FROUDE, ESQ., F.R.S.

{v} To you, my dear William, I dedicate these miscellaneous compositions, old and new, as to a true friend, dear to me in your own person, and in your family, and in the special claim which your brother Hurrell has upon my memory;—as one, who, amid unusual trials of friendship, has always been fair to me, never unkind;—as one, who has followed the long course of controversy, of which these Volumes are a result and record, with a large sympathy for those engaged in it, and a deep sense of the responsibilities of religious inquiry, and the sacredness of religious truth.

Whatever may be your judgment of portions of their contents, which are not always in agreement with each other, you will, I know, give them a ready welcome, when offered to your acceptance as the expression, such as it is, of the author's wish, in the best way he can, of connecting his name with yours.

I am, my dear William Froude,
Most affectionately yours,
JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.

August 1, 1871.

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{vii} THESE Essays, with the exception of the last, were written while their author was Fellow of Oriel, and a member of the Established Church. They are now after many years republished, mainly for the following reason:—

He does not hold now, on certain important points, the opinions to which he gave expression then; yet he cannot destroy what he has once put into print: "Litera scripta manet." He might suppress it for a time; but, sooner or later, his power over it will cease. And then, if either in its matter or its drift, it is adapted to benefit the cause, which it was intended to support when it was given to the world, it will be republished in spite of his later disavowal of it. In order to anticipate the chance of its being thus used after his death, the only way open to him is, while living, without making alterations, which would destroy its original character and force, to accompany it with additions calculated to explain why it has ceased to approve itself to his own judgment. If he does as much as this, he {viii} may reasonably hope, that either no reprint of it will be made hereafter, or that the reprint of his first thoughts will in fairness be allowed to carry with it a reprint of his second. This, accordingly, has been his attempt in the present edition of these Essays, as far as they demand it of him; and he is sanguine that he has been able to reduce what is uncatholic in them, whether in argument or statement, to the position of those "Difficultates" which figure in dogmatic treatises of theology, which by their incisiveness court the favourable attention of the Protestant reader, and are elaborately drawn out, and set forth to the best advantage, in order that they may be the more carefully and satisfactorily answered.

A further "difficulty," he is well aware, remains behind. With the run of men, the mere fact that a doctrine is disputed, is a sufficient reason for considering it disputable; and the spectacle of two sides of a great ecclesiastical question advocated with equal earnestness by one and the same author, tends necessarily to create in them a despondent, or liberalistic, or sceptical habit of mind on the subject of religious truth altogether. He is sorrowfully conscious that his course in life, and the writings with which he has all along accompanied it, are open to this reproach. He can but say for himself that such a misfortune has been a necessity of his position; the position of a man, who, from various circumstances, has been obliged through so many years to think aloud. Who is there of us all, who would be {ix} pleased, or could bear, to have all his thoughts, as current events elicited them, contemporaneously put upon paper? Yet this has been the author's lot. However, he has touched upon the subject, not to excuse himself, but in order that these volumes should go out to the world with such an express recognition on his part of an evil, which he deeply feels to be incidental to them, as may serve as a caution, and, if so be, a safeguard against it.

The first Essay was written in 1828, for the London Review; the second in 1835, for the Tracts for the Times; the last in 1846, for the Dublin Review; the rest for the British Critic, between 1837 and 1842. They are arranged chronologically, except that, for the convenience of the volumes, Essays IX. and X. have changed places.

In this Edition the Note upon St. Ignatius' Epistles is no longer to be found, being transposed to a more suitable place in "Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical;" and in its stead is inserted an Article from the British Critic, which has not till now been reprinted.

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Title Page

ESSAYS

CRITICAL AND HISTORICAL

 

 BY

JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN

 

NEW IMPRESSION

VOLUME I.

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA

1907

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