1837 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Card. John Henry Newman

Sara Coleridge to Arabella Brooke, 29 July 1837; Memoir and Letters (1874) 137-38.



I have lately been reading, certainly with great interest, the sermons of John Henry Newman; and I trust they are likely to do great good, by placing in so strong a light as they do the indispensableness of an orthodox belief, the importance of sacraments as the main channels of Christian privileges, and the powers, gifts, and offices of Christian ministers derived by apostolical succession — the insufficiency of personal piety without Catholic brotherhood — the sense that we are all members of one body, and subjects of one kingdom of Christ — the danger of a constant craving for religious excitement, and the fatal mistake of trusting in any devotional thoughts and feelings, which are not immediately put into act, and do not shine through the goings-on of our daily life. But then these exalted views are often supported, as I think, by unfair reasonings; and are connected with other notions which appear to me superstitious, unwarranted by any fair interpretation of Scripture, and containing the germs of Popish errors.