Chapter twelve of the author's The Liberal Catholic Movement in England: The "Rambler" and its Contributors, 1848-1864, which Burns and Oates (London) published in 1962. It has been included in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.
GAINST the background of episcopal hostility and popular suspicion, the "Home and Foreign Review" had to make its way. In its principles and policies, the Home and Foreign was substantially a continuation of the Rambler; but there were certain significant differences between the two periodicals. Even before the censure of the bishops had deprived the Home and Foreign of its character as a representative organ of English Catholicism, its conductors had proposed to "diminish the religious speciality" which had characterized the Rambler. "It is no longer a Catholic review," wrote Simpson, "but a review whose conductors happen to be Catholics; it challenges notice no longer as representing Bishops and Priests, but as a literary rival of the old reviews" (). Simpson did not deny the essentially Catholic character of the Home and Foreign; but it had passed from the narrow field of Catholic journalism, represented by The Tablet, the Weekly Register and the Dublin, to the wider ranges of the great English reviews, the Quarterly, the Edinburgh and the Westminster. It sought an audience which was not exclusively Catholic. One of its foremost objects, Acton said, was "by instructing English readers generally concerning Catholic ideas, and by familiarizing Catholics with the facts and thoughts of the world around them, [201/202] be an understanding preserving your present position really intact, sacrificing only the name of proprietor" (A to S, 21 Dec. 1862, Downside MSS). It was agreed that Simpson would resign his proprietorship, with the right of resurning it if he should later be dissatisfied with the new arrangement; but, except for the title of proprietor, he was to retain his share in the management.
The arrangement was not a satisfactory one. The prejudice against the Home and Foreign arising from Simpson's association with it was not removed, because no announcement of the change was made to the public. Wetherell, who had been told only that Simpson was no longer a proprietor, did not always consult him as much as Simpson thought he ought to be consulted. Simpson came to feel that in many ways he was superfluous: "I got off the coach to lighten the load, and it has driven on without me" (S to A, 13 Dec. 1863, Downside MSS. Gasquet misquotes this: p. liv). Acton relied increasingly on the assistance of Wetherell, whom he described to Gladstone as his "alter ego in the Home and Foreign Review, and to all better intents and purposes practically its Editor" (A to G, 1I Jan. 1867, BM Add. MS. 44093 ff. 55-8). Acton had a high opinion of Wetherell's talent and judgment and regarded him as "a very good restraint against Simpson's lack of direction" (A to D, 29 March 1862, Woodruff MSS). On several occasions Simpson expressed his dissatisfaction with the new arrangement. Acton strove to mediate between Simpson and Wetherell, but he found the task a difficult one.
In 1863 a new member was added to the staff of the Home and Foreign, a convert, Peter le Page Renouf, Acton described Renouf, who was professor of ancient history at Dublin, as "the most learned Catholic in the country," and credited him with having suggested the theory of development to Newman (A to S, 2 Sept. 1862, Downside MSS. See also CUL Add. MS. 4988). Renouf had been one of the leading writers of the Atlantis. That journal had declined since Newman left Dublin and was virtually suspended. Most of its literary staff transferred their support to the Home and Foreign. Renouf was one of the first to offer his services. In the summer of 1862, he proposed to write, an article in favour of [202/203] founding a Catholic college at Oxford. Acton, however, although convinced of the necessity of higher education for English Catholics, was never enthusiastic for the Oxford scheme: he preferred to found an entirely new Catholic University. He had discussed the matter with Newman and had offered him land for the university at Bridgnorth, with access to his large library at Aldenham. Acton therefore declined Renouf's article, fearing that it might injure the prospects of the Catholic University; at the same time, he urged Renouf himself to undertake the founding of the university (A to Renouf, 14 Nov. 1862, and Renouf to Acton, 22 Nov. 1862, Selections, pp. 162-65, 125-26). Renouf, however, felt himself unequal to the task of founding a university.
Acton proposed to make Renouf an additional sub-editor of the Home and Foreign. He hoped that "the purely objective, scientific nature of Renouf's mind" (A to S, 2 Sept. 1863, Downside MSS) would tend to moderate the quarrels of Wetherell and Simpson. Renouf accepted the sub-editorship in the autumn of 1863 and contributed a large number of reviews. His ro1e was kept secret. At the same time, Lathbury joined the staff as a reviser of articles. Wetherell remained as sub-editor and Simpson as "amicus curiae." (A to D, 14 Aug. 1863, Woodruff MSS). Shortly afterwards, however, he was appointed an inspector of schools; this prevented him from assisting in the editorial work.
The many new contributors to the Home and Foreign enabled it to deal with a broader range of subjects than the Rambler. The political and religious departments occupied proportionately less space, while economics, philology, law, archaeology and science received greater emphasis. The Home and Foreign had in its service a staff of experts, such as the historical economist Roscher, the classicist Paley, Renouf on archaeology, W. K. Sullivan on science and Celtic lore, Acton and Döllinger on history and, on foreign politics, correspondents in the various countries. The distinctive feature of the Home and Foreign Review, which gave it a distinguished place in the history of English periodical literature, was the section on "Contemporary Literature." [203/204] Each issue contained a large number of brief reviews of books, both English and foreign, covering all areas of serious literature, written by specialists. The erudition of these reviews, and the knowledge which they displayed of foreign literature, was unrivalled among English quarterlies. There were on the average fifty reviews an issue; one issue contained as many as ninety-seven. Acton did the largest share of the reviewing.
The most important reviews were thcse dealing with Biblical criticism. The Colenso controversy had shown that, in the case of some Protestants, the reaction against Biblical literalism could imperil all dogmatic belief. Simpson, who reviewed the controversy, maintained that this danger was one to which only Protestants, who had no standard of orthodoxy other than the text of the Bible, were liable, while Catholics, secure in the dogmatic infallibility of the Church, could safely allow the free scientific investigation of the Bible. As Acton told Döllinger, this idea had been suggested to him by Jowett: "He said to me strikingly, it is easier for Catholics than Protestants to let biblical criticism and its results pass without opposition. If it should ever happen that this scientific freedom, which is so dangerous to Protestants, is allowed to Catholics, we would immediately stand on an entirely different footing with this entire school, and progress would not always lead to unbelief" (26 May 1862, Woodruff MSS).
As an article that appeared in the July 1863 issue of Home and Foreign Review argued,
The great practical difference between biblical science as cultivated by Protestants and as cultivated by Catholics is that, with the former, the very foundations of Christian faith are put in question; and the results which Catholics might adopt with impunity lead, in the case of Protestants, legitimately, if not always in fact, to simple unbelief. . . . The inspiration of Scripture is a traditional belief of the Catholic Church, which has, however, cautiously abstained from defining the nature and limits of inspiration. A considerable amount of liberty is therefore left to scientific speculation, especially if we remember ... that the substance of the Catholic faith, as positively defined by the Church, lies in a region to which real scientific speculation does not even tend to approach. [III, 222]
Simpson combined his justification of the Catholic position with a plea for the freedom of the Catholic scholar. "Those [204/205] who believe the Catholic Church to be divinely protected from dogmatic error in its decisions must of course accept its canon of Scripture as the true one; but there is nothing to prevent their discussing all the historical facts of which the history of the canon is composed" (16 Ibid. (Oct. 1863), 651). In the realm of facts, Catholic theologians should be free to accept the conclusions of scientific history, or of any other science. For an example of this freedom in science, see W. K. Sullivan's "Lyell on the Antiquity of Man," which accepts Lyell's evolutionary theories of geology (II April 1863, 456-503).
The standard of the Home and Foreign Review was so high that it criticized some Biblical critics, such as Renan, for being insufficiently scientific, for lack of objectivity and reliance on unproved hypotheses. The most striking illustration of its attitude was an article by Renouf on Smith's Dictionag of the Bible. Renouf asserted that Catholics could, without sacrificing orthodoxy, come to the same conclusions on such questions as the authorship of Isaiah as the most advanced German critics. During the preceding century the external evidences of Christianity had undergone profound modification, not however to the disadvantage of Catholicism, for the only security that remained for the inspiration of the Bible was the tradition of the Church. Renouf admitted that recent Biblical criticism was the product of unbelief or indifference, but he held that Catholics must nonetheless accept the scientific truths that had been demonstrated: "facts and arguments are not disposed of by calling men 'rationalists' and unbelievers." "The interests of the most conservative theology are here in fact identical with those of critical science. It is not for the benefit of religion that all the positions taken up by its defenders should be evidently such as may be undermined, turned, or carried by assault" (P. le P. Renouf, "Dr. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible," ibid., IV April 1864, 626, 655). Acton remarked in jest that "we shall incur excommunication for the review of Smith, where we reject the greater part of Isaiah" (A to S, 28 March 1864, Downside MSS). Dean Stanley, in the July 1864 Edinburgh Review, compared the boldness of this article with that of Essays and Reviews: "The writer, from the most orthodox point of view, decides fearlessly on all questions, and decides on what (for want of a [205/206] better word) we must call the liberal side--on the side of the Essayists" ("The Three Pastorals," CXX,304).
The scholarly integrity and ability of the Home and Foreign Review won for it the admiration of the English world of thought. In his seminal "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time" (1865), Matthew Arnold remarked that "perhaps in no organ of criticism in this country was there so much knowledge, so much play of mind". Arnold's next words are striking: "but these could not save it. The Dublin Review subordinates play of mind to the practical business of English and Irish Catholicism, and lives." Matthew Arnold's brother Thomas was a contributor to the Home and Foreign. Max Miffler described it as "one of the best edited of our quarterlies" (Cited in Ward, I, 538-9). Praise could also be cited from the National and the Union Review, and the "phenomenal" Home and Foreign was an influence leading to the conversion of the liturgical historian Edmund Bishop; see Abercrombie, pp. 19, 292. The Home and Foreign was judged to have surpassed, "alike in knowledge, range, and certainty, any of the other quarterlies, political, or ecclesiastical, or specialist, which the nineteenth century produced" (History of Freedom, pp. xii-xiii).
In politics, the Home and Foreign was more closely associated with the Liberal party than the Rambler had been. At first, indeed, it had professed indifference to parties. "Our purpose," Acton said, "is to maintain that old Whig system of which Burke is the greatest exponent, and which it seems necessary at the present day to have been a Tory to understand. It is obvious therefore that we cannot undertake to support any party" (A to G, 30 June 1862, BM Add. MS. 44093 ff. 8-9). See also Simpson's "The Conservative Reaction" in the July 1862 Home and Foreign Review (26-51). In practice, however, the principles of the Home and Foreign drew it into the camp of the Liberals. The Tories, Acton believed, were indifferent to principles and represented merely the interests of the Established Church and the landlords. It was Gladstone, who had passed from the Tories to the Liberals, who represented Acton's political ideal, the practical doctrinaire who could reconcile constitutionalism and reform. Acton's friendship [206/207] for Gladstone was steadily growing; in 1863 it was transformed into enthusiasm. He welcomed Gladstone's speech on qualification for offices, in March, as "a great event. He has jumped with both feet into Home and Foreigndom: (A to S, 5 March 1863, Downside MSS). In July the Home and Foreign hailed Gladstone as the destined leader of the Liberals. "Henceforward the future of the party is bound up with him.... if it will have more defeats, it will have greater triumphs" ( III July 1863, 368).
The Home and Foreign endorsed, not the Liberal party as a whole, but only its Gladstonian element, the political heirs of Peel. Acton cared less for the existing government of Palmerston than for the former government of Lord Aberdeen, in which the Peelites had played a leading role. The conduct of Aberdeen's government had been criticized in Kinglake's book on the Crimean War. Acton arranged for Lathbury, who was reviewing Kinglake, to receive confidential information from Gladstone and other survivors of the Aberdeen government which would enable him to vindicate its policy (A to G, 26 and 28 Feb. 1863, BM Add. MS. 44093 ff. 18-21). See Lathbury's "Kinglake on the Causes of the Crimean War," [II April 1863], 398-432). Acton repeatedly urged Gladstone to write for the Home and Foreign: "the objects and principles of the Review fit it to be your organ on many important matters, more perhaps than any other journal" (A to G, 28 Feb. 1863, BM Add. MS. 44093 ff. 20-1. See also A to G, I July and 29 Oct. 1863, ibid., ff. 28-31). Gladstone was willing to write for the review, but he would not do so while in office. However, he assisted the editors by giving them political information and suggesting new contributors.
In January 1864, the Home and Foreign reviewed Gladstone's latest budget in an article by Robert Lowe, a junior minister. The article was highly favourable to Gladstone, with just enough criticism to make its praise persuasive. Gladstone, filled with admiration at the ability of the article, thought that Acton was its author; Acton disclaimed author ship but declined to give the writer's name (G to A, 6 Jan. 1864, and A to G, 8 Jan. 1864, ibid., ff. 32-42.). Gladstone appears to have learned that Lowe was the author: this [207/208] article is credited with making Lowe Chancellor of the Exchequer in Gladstone's first ministry (Herbert Paul, "Introductory Memoir," Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone [New York, 1904], p. 25. See Robert Lowe, "Mr. Gladstone's Financial Statements," Home and Foreign Review, IV Jan. 1864, 1-18.).
The foreign politics of the Home and Foreign were peculiarly Acton's. Its treatment of the American Civil War was somewhat less than objective. Acton was a partisan of the Confederacy, holding that the principle of states' rights was necessary for constitutional liberty. He refused to condemn the institution of slavery. In European affairs, the Home and Foreign continued the Rambler's opposition to the policies of Napoleon III. It paid great attention to German politics. Acton, who had never shaken off the effects of his Bavarian education, placed his hope in the small constitutional monarchies of south Germany and rejected the doctrinaire nationalism which turned to Prussia. He was opposed to Bismarck from the start and therefore was favourable to Austria. He was not unaware of the defects of the Austrian government; he lamented that it had failed to adopt the principles of constitutionalism and federalism. What attracted him in the Austrian system was the very thing which made it abhorrent to nationalists: the union of diverse nationalities under a common state. Acton rejected the doctrine that the nation and the state should be co-extensive. His critique of nationalism is perhaps his most lasting contribution to political thought. 30
Acton regarded the Italian question as connected with the German: Austria and the Temporal Power were menaced by the same revolutionary nationalism. In opposing Italian nationalism, however, the Home and Foreign showed no enthusiasm for the Temporal Power. As Acton argued in the January 1863 Home and Foreign Review, "We neither identify the cause of freedom with the kingdom of Italy, nor the independence of the Church with the government of the Papal States" (II, 319). It proposed that the Pope should flee from Rome and invited him to take refuge in England or Ireland. Such an event would put an end to "the old attitude of estrangement founded on superstition and suspicion," for the rulers of the Church "would beceme familiar with the spectacle of a free and tolerant community, in the light of whose example they would perceive the benefits which liberty confers on religion" (April 1863, 698-9). The Church would find that the principles of constitutional liberty were more appropriate and serviceable to her than those of reaction: "Cavour, by his formula of a free Church in a free state, opposed to the policy of the Church a principle which is essentially her own, and which she cannot resist without being unfaithful to herself" (Jan. 1863), 313). Acton criticized Manning's "Sermons on Ecclesiastical Subjects" for treating the Temporal Power as a matter of dogma. This "atempt to protect the weak and earthly element [in the Church] by lifting it into the sphere of the spiritual and eternal" demonstrated, Acton said, an "inability to distinguish between the things of Caesar and the things of God" (IV Jan. 1864, 311).
The distinction between the things of God and the things of Caesar, between that which pertained to the Church and that which had nothing to do with it, was fundamental to Liberal Catholicism. In "Ultramontanism," which appeared in July 1863, Acton claimed that "the attempt of the Liberal Catholics to limit the sphere of faith proceeded from a desire to maintain the "inward core of irreversible dogma" (III 162-206; reptinted Essays on Church and State) in its divine purity, unmixed with human elements, and to prevent the Church from being identified with the sins and weaknesses of its adherents. This was the basis of their opposition to the Ultramontanes, who did not recognize such distinctions and appeared willing to sacrifice political right and intellectual honesty to the immediate temporal interests of the Church. "The great scandal of the present day," Simpson said, "is the attempt of pious sentiment to advance what it considers to be God's glory by untruth and injustice" (S to T. W. Marshall, n.d., Woodruff MSS). [209-210]
The name of "Ultramontane," Acton asserted in his essay of that name, had been wrongly assumed by the opponents of Liberal Catholicism
Ultramontanism stands in the same relation to Catholicism in matters of opinion as Catholicism to Christianity in matters of faith. It signifies a habit of intellect carrying forward the inquiries and supplementing the work of authority. It implies the legitimate union of religion with science, and the conscious intelligible harmony of Catholicism with the system of secular truth. Its basis is authority, but its domain is liberty, and it reconciles the one with the other.[p. 40]
Knowledge is one of the ends of the Church, and progress a necessity of her existence; and Catholics who feared knowledge and resisted progress were not entitled to be called Ultramontanes. In a significant article on " Ultramontanism," Acton claimed that designation for the historical school which was represented in England by the Home and Foreign Review. Catholics, he said, must solve the problems of the day scientifically as well as religiously, satisfying both conscience and reason.
As Acton saw it, Ultramontanism should be a liberating force, giving freedom to intellectual inquiry in the confidence that it would lead to the discovery of a truth which could not fail to be compatible with Catholic faith. Acton's sketch of his "grandiose and paradoxical conception of a liberal Ultramontanism" was perhaps the purest expression of the [210-211] Liberal Catholic doctrine (Noack, p. 96). In asserting the pre-eminent necessity of pursuing justice and truth, it placed the cause of Liberal Catholicism on a foundation which was essentially ethical.
The Ultramontane is therefore one who makes no parade of his religion; who meets his adversaries on grounds which they understand and acknowledge . . . who discusses each topic on its intrinsic merits-answering the critic by a severer criticism, the metaphysician by closer reasoning, the historian by deeper learning, the politician by sounder politics and indifference itself by a purer impartiality. In all these subjects the Ultramontane discovers a point pre-emiriently Catholic, but also pre-eminently intellectual and true. He finds that there is a system of metaphysics, and of ethics, singularly agreeable to Catholicism, but entirely independent of it. [ p. 84. Gasquet, p. 1xv, suggests that this article was written "conjointly" by Simpson and Acton.]
To Acton, scientific history was synonymous with intellectual honesty. His opposition to the actual Ultramontanism of the nineteenth century was due to an ethical revulsion from a system which taught false history in the name of religion and bound up the cause of the Church with a system of lies. He discerned in the Ultramontanes' reliance upon authority "a sort of latent scepticism covered by a habit of flinching from difficulties, or of assuming that there is nothing which cannot be converted into a support of religion by a very superficial examination and manipulation." Suppression of facts or glossing over difficulties amounted, in Acton's opinion, to a "wilful lie" (A to Newman, n.d. , Newman MSS). Acton was referring to a Jesuit work which pretended that Pope Paul III was not the father of an illegitimate son and spoke of his grandson as his "nephew." See Acton's review of Prat's Histoire du Pêre Ribadeneyra in Home and Foreign Review (I July 1862, 242-43).
Acton was less than just to the ablest of his opponents, W. G. Ward. Ward's anti-intellectualism was the product of a rigorous logic which led him to conclude that the intellect was an insufficient and a dangerous guide; certainty could only be attained by absolute submission to infallible authority. To be Catholic, Ward said in Catholic Controversies," which appeared in the April 1869 Dublin Review, "is to live as it were in an atmosphere of authority; to look for direction at every moment towards the Church and the Vicar of Christ." Catholics were bound to give an interior assent "not only to the definitions but to the doctrinal intimations of the Holy See"; and a Catholic thinker or writer ought "so to think and write, as he judges that the Holy See ... would wish him to think and write" (Ward to N, 20 Jan. 1875, cited Ward, III, 565-66).
To combat the unbridled intellectualism of the Home and Foreign was the purpose of Ward's editorship of the Dublin Review. A direct clash between the two reviews did not occur during the lifetime of the Home and Foreign; but every issue of [211/212] the Dublin under Ward's editorship was a manifesto of those principles which were diametrically opposed to Liberal Catholicism. In Ward's first issue, for example, Manning set forth the goals which he proposed for the Catholics of England in "The Work and the Wants of the Catholic Church in England". He urged them to separate themselves from the main stream of English society, which was heading towards "worldliness" and rationalism, and to show themselves "more Roman than Rome, and more ultramontane than the Pope himself" (I July 1863, 162) 1143 Ward went so far as to describe Liberal Catholicism as material heresy and mortal sin and its adherents as unsound and disloyal Catholics. Ward's conduct of the Dublin Review thus contributed towards raising the temper of those internal disputes among English Catholics which were already notorious for their virulence. It was clear, said the Saturday Review, "that an amount of pugnacity exists among Roman Catholics, which by no means finds a sufficient vent in onslaughts on Protestantism" (cited Gasquet, p. x1iii).
The Liberal Catholics were also infected by the spirit of party. In 1862, Acton proposed that Simpson should bring the case of Liberal Catholicism before the Protestant public by secretly writing an article for the Edinburgh Review on the state of Catholic parties in England and the history of their conflicts. This, he thought, would effect "a diversion in our fight" (A to S, 3 Oct. 1862, in Butterfield) 45 and develop sympathy among Protestants for the Liberal Catholic cause. In this instance Simpson was less pugnacious than Acton; not wishing to emphasize the quarrel between the Liberal Catholics and the hierarchy, he eventually produced a relatively tame article on English Catholic history which was useless for Acton's purpose. It was published in the Home and Foreign in April 1863, under the title of "Milner and his Times." Its most remarkable feature was a reference to the variety of opinions among Catholics, which might be construed as a plea for a more tolerant attitude towards Liberal Catholicism:
[212/213] Catholicism is a fact, and not a theory. Whatever schools of thought have their existence within the Church, and are not cast out from her communion, are, ipso facto, shown to be consistent ... with the generous spirit of historical Catholicism, which is tolerant of differences in doubtful matters, provided that unity is not broken in the necessary points of faith and morals. 
The Home and Foreign succeeded to the Rambler's complex and unsatisfactory relationship with Newman. The intellectual cleavage between Newman and Acton could not be bridged, but their association was not terminated. Newman remained the symbol of the hopes of Liberal Catholicism, though he was not part of the movement; and the Home and Foreign was the only English Catholic review devoted to those intellectual interests which Newman had so much at heart. At the same time, Newman insisted that in matters of principle he was in agreement with Ward, although he disliked Ward's uncompromising tactics. Newman sought to assume the role of mediator between the two parties and declined to write for either the Dublin or the Home and Foreign. Newman's attitude is most clearly expressed in his correspondence with William Monsell. Monsell, a close friend of both Newman and Montalembert and a Liberal in politics, had contributed several articles on Irish subjects to the early issues of the Home and Foreign. Alarmed by the censures of the bishops, he wrote to Acton urging him to place the management of the Home and Foreign in the hands of a council, with a theological censor. Acton declined to make any change. Monsell, who regarded the success of a review conducted on Acton's principles as "a matter of the deepest interest to us all," feared that "if Acton does not change, not his principles but his tone, he will be set aside by Catholics, and the resuscitated Dublin, which under Ward will be, I presume, a sort of echo of the Univers, will be the only acknowledged Catholic organ" (Monsell to N, 7 Nov. 1862, quoted Woodruff, Essays on Church and State, p. 28). Newman sympathized with Monsell's complaints but held out hopes that the Home and Foreign [213/214]would mend its ways. At the beginning of 1863 he thought that the review was in an improved position. Monsell, however, found one article in the January issue which shocked him by implying that there was a contrast between "Catholic" and "Christian" morality. He asked Newman whether he ought to continue his contributions to the Home and Foreign.
Newman was also shocked by the article; and he had recently seen a letter by Acton which clearly indicated that there would be no change in the spirit of the Home and Foreign. He therefore told Monsell:
I think you ought, and have a right, to bargain that there should not be the smack of Protestantism in the Review, which is unmistakable in the article you remark upon. It was a smack of something or other, which I should call a tone, which ruined the Rambler; not its doctrines, but a tone in stating or alluding to them; and a Protestant smack will be fatal to the H. and F. If, then, you continue to write for it, you really must insist on this ambiguous, uncomfortable style of writing coming to an end.
Newman acknowledged that Simpson had been "hardly treated" by Ullathorne, but thought that he had no right to complain. "Why did he begin? Why did he fling about illsounding words on sacred and delicate subjects?" (N to Monsell, 13 Jan. 1863, in Selected Correspondence of Lord Acton, p. 39) On the other hand, Newman said, there was one substantial ground of complaint in regard to the proceedings against the Rambler and the Home and Foreign: the interference by Propaganda in English affairs, leaving no independence to the Bishops. This direct control by Rome left no room for the relative freedom of debate and provisional toleration of opinions which had prevailed in the Middle Ages and which was Newman's ideal of Catholicism. Monsell summed up Newman's attitude to the Home and Foreign in two words: "interest and disappointment" (quoted in Ward, William George Ward, p. 205). Deeply as Newman sympathized with its principles, he felt that its tone deprived it of the sympathies of good Catholics.
Later in 1863, however, Newman showed himself more favourably disposed towards the Home and Foreign. The April issue led him to express to Wetherell his amazement at the "resources, vigour, and industry" displayed by the review, and to wish it "every success; among these successes, for which I wish and pray, and for which I have before now said Mass, of course the foremost is, that, by its soundness and prudence in treating matters quasi-religious and cognate to religion, it may obtain the approbation and confidence of our Bishops" (N to Wetherell, 22 April 1863, Newman MSS). In August, Renouf reported that Newman "spoke without any qualification of his admiration" for the Home and Foreign (A to S, Sept. 1863, Downside MSS). Acton emphasized that this was to be kept secret; see also A to Döllinger, 14 Aug. 1863, Woodruff MSS). The report was exaggerated: Newman's admiration was never unqualified. "The Home and Foreign," Newman wrote early in 1864, "has to amend its ways most considerably before it can be spoken well of by Catholics-so I. think; but it realizes the fact that there are difficulties that have to be met, and it tries to meet them. Not successfully or always prudently, but still it has done something" (N to Robert Ornsby, 1864, cited in Ward, II, 49). The review appeared to him to be "improving, number after number, both in religious character and in literary excellence"; and there seemed "no inconsistency between my submitting to my own Bishop's judgment, when the Review began, and hoping for a reversal of the judgment, as it proceeded" (N to A, 18 March 1864, ibid., I, 565-66).
Acton, however, did not attach much value to these sentiments of Newman. "Now Newman has great sympathy with our cause, inasmuch as he is enlightened and liberal and highly cultivated; but I do not believe he really understands our theory" (A to S, 7 Feb. 1864, Gasquet, p. 315). In 1864 an event occurred which tended to confirm Acton's opinion. Thomas Arnold, Jr., a master at the Oratory School, offered as a prize to one of his students a copy of the English translation of Döllinger's Kirche und Kirchen. Newman and Ambrose St. John interfered and refused to allow the boy to receive the book. According to Thomas Arnold, Jr.'s Passages in a Wandering Life (1900), the "note of Liberalism was the chief objection" (p. 179). The revelation of [215/216] Newman's illiberalism proved too great a shock for Arnold's faith to bear: he resigned from the school, moved to Oxford, and in 1865 returned to the Church of England. In 1875 Arnold returned to Roman Catholicism. See Passages, pp. 180-6; and the autobiography of his daughter, Mrs. Humphry Ward, pp. 134-5
Meanwhile the reversal of the bishops' judgment against the Home and Foreign, for which Newman prayed, seemed likely to become a reality. In August 1863, Acton learned that Bishop Brown of Newport had been "overcome by our last number" and had declared openly "that there has never been anything so good in England" (A to S, Aug. 1863, Gasquet, p. 305). In September, Acton's own bishop came to make his visitation at Aldenham and incidentally to persuade A to give up the Home and Foreign. Acton, however, "converted the Bishop, who came to curse, and went away yesterday after giving his blessing to the Review and expressing himself gratified at my explanations." The bishop assured Acton that "in spite of the strong feelings of some bishops, a reaction has been setting in among them, and that he would try and promote it" (A to S, 9 Sept. 1863, ibid., pp. 305-6). Acton was assisted in "converting" the bishop by Wetherell, Arnold, and Roger Vaughan, a Benedictine monk, brother of the future Cardinal Vaughan. A similar reaction had been setting in among some lowerclergy and laymen. E. S. Ffoulkes, in the May 1864 Union Review, urged that "our laity will be sadly wanting if they do not step forward in behalf of this, by far the ablest and best conducted of any Roman Catholic publication of the kind in the English language that our age has yet witnessed, and claim its recognition as their own special organ by the clergy" (295).
Early in 1864, Acton was invited to make a political speech to the Catholics at Dudley. He used the opportunity to inculcate the doctrines of Liberal Catholicism while ostensibly refuting Protestant prejudices against the Catholic Church:
What we want is the broad light of day. The faults of individuals will continue to be attributed to the system as long [216/217 as the system is not clearly understood. There must be no pretext for misunderstanding us, for we are engaged, not in a trial of strength with our fellow countrymen, but in a race of enlightenment.
He appealed for the removal of Catholic grievances, particularly "the iniquity of the Protestant Establishment in Ireland," but held that "these are not Irish, or Catholic, but imperial questions," on which Catholics claimed the common liberties of Englishmen. He disclaimed the doctrine of persecution, asserting that the only persecution by which the Church benefited was that which it had suffered rather than inflicted.
The Catholic Church and the English nation have both traversed a period when they were exposed to the influence of the spirit of intolerance. That period has gone by for both. We have suffered too long from the effects of evil examples and fatal traditions, and the time has come when all men ought to understand that the liberty of the Church is part of the liberty of the subject, and that the reforms which Catholics still demand are the most important part of what remains to be done in order to bring to its perfection the fabric of the British Constitution. [The Times (London), 4 Feb. 1864, p. 12]
This speech, Acton found, was "well received by several of the Staffordshire clergy, who, I was, told, do not take their bishop's part against us" (A to S, 28 Jan. 1864, Downside MSS). "Their bishop" was Ullathorne. Acton welcomed these signs of growing favour for the Home and Foreign, but he had no hopes for any substantial alteration in its relations with the ecclesiastical authorities. He warned Wetherell, who dreamed of "a conversion in high places," that "there was no triumph in store for our doctrines, and the authorities could never adopt them or sincerely admit us to be other than rogues" (A to S, 7 Feb. 1864, altered by Gasquet, who omitted Wetherell's name p. 315). Wetherell, however, believed that the Home and Foreign might eventually be restored to favour if it followed a cautious policy.
In the spring of 1864, the Home and Foreign Review was in the
[217/218] best position it had ever known. Although it could not overcome the hostility of the Ultramontanes, it had established itself as a journal and had gained an honourable place among English quarterlies. Events outside England, however, were casting their shadows on these bright prospects; and "in affairs of the mind," as Simpson remarked to Acton "shadows are more penetrating than substance" (2 March 1864, Woodruff MSS).
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Last modified 25 March 2002