« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
following is one of the last notices of this event in his diary for the 27th of June. It reads like Diogenes writing from his tub :
Sat some time with the Bishop of Oxford, who is very anxious that I should take Keble College. Wrote to the Bishop of Salisbury, asking him to decide the Keble College question for me authoritatively!
Let us follow the fortunes of this Oxford Diogenes. He was now at the age of thirty-seven. The next cataclysm occurs twenty Years later. By the age of fifty-six the habit of self-distrust, which had been carefully cultivated on Liddon's 'Catholic' principles and soundly regulated on Liddon's 'Church' lines, had become completely confirmed in him. He is sounded by Mr. Gladstone through Dean Church as to whether he would consent to accept a bishopric if a specific offer were made. Liddon haughtily refused even to consider the question of an unspecified bishopric. Dr. Pusey, so he tells us, would have done so. So would dear Mr. Keble.' And 'what would St. Ambrose have said to a willingness to accept a bishopric in the abstract?'
The See of Salisbury was now vacant. Liddon's eager mind at once began to revolve all the possibilities invited by this vacancy. The offer had not yet been made and never was to be made ; but Liddon was already ' miserable' as to what his reply should be if the offer should be made. Once more he consulted' all his friends and once more dismissed all their suggestions; and this time discovered that the Life of Dr. Pusey, which he was engaged in writing, was in the way of his acceding to any
? suggestion of episcopal promotion.
The Deanery of Worcester at last falls vacant, and Liddon now evolves a new argument :
I have no fanatical feeling against accepting preferment. But ... on this point the old Tractarian feeling .... is profoundly opposed .. to that commercial view of the higher offices in the Church which was very sincerely held by the old Latitudinarians. .. If Lord Salisbury had offered me the See of Salisbury .... I had with much misgiving and after long hesitation made up my mind that it would be a duty to accept it.
That he would not have accepted it is abundantly clear by his action the following year. For while he was in Constantinople he received by telegram the news that he had been elected Bishop of Edinburgh. He almost immediately wired back a refusal. He told his friends that he' took twenty-four hours to think it over.' But a monk does not think. His only motto is Sic rolo, sic jubeo, stet pro ratione voluntas ; and the reply might have been anticipated. It now appeared, according to Liddon in another mind, that all Bishops of the Church of Scotland should be Scotchmen!
It is the same with his Bampton Lectures, with his sermon at Vol. LXXI-No. 419
St. Mary's Redcliffe at Bristol, with his conduct of a Retreat for the clergy. They were all successful. But according to Liddon's 'melancholy ’ fancy they were all, if we consult his diary, 'failures' and himself 'miserable.' The great catastrophe of his life was the death of Dr. Pusey. With him went all that remains on earth and, apparently, nearly all his hopes of heaven :
Now that dearest Dr. Pusey is gone the world is no more for me the same world. The whole past seems torn up by the roots. I feel the danger of disbelief in God the Holy Ghost! Alas ! as Plutarch has shown, how near is scepticism to credulity!
Liddon latterly became conscious of his growing narrowness of mind. Without the responsibilities of marriage or of an actively arduous position in the State or Church he had become, as the late Bishop of Oxford pointed out, the creature of instincts and the victim of habits that held him as in a vice. His dearest friends at Oxford, his most intimate companions at Christ Church, were made painfully aware of these luxuriant self-indulgences on the part of the quiet, polished, urbane but cynical recluse. Dr. Paget and Dr. Gore were engaged in publishing some new positions in theology. But Liddon never suspected his friends till it was brought to his notice; and then the shock precipitated his death! Bishop Lightfoot, in his famous essay on The Threefold Ministry, had learnedly overturned, with damning proofs from history, the impossible position of the Tractarians as to the origin of the Episcopate, which Liddon had discovered, like Baptismal Regeneration and the Eastward position, to have been part of the revealed Will of God.' In his preface to the sixth edition of his Philippians Bishop Lightfoot was driven to refute a silly rumour circulated by the Tractarians to the effect that he had changed his mind on this great subject. Yet Liddon continued to harbour the suspicion that such a change at the last had actually taken place in the good Bishop's mind. 28
It is provoking to see a man of Liddon's powers and, above all, of Liddon's character thus toying with the great issues of life. He could not make up his mind. He could not be honest with himself.
And thus the native hue of resolution
Of this we will hazard one example. When he first came to St. Paul's in 1870 he was justly shocked at the evils of London, and the danger to the character of the choirmen whose voices were
" The charge has recently reappeared in the Church Times and been refuted in the Record for October 20, 1911 (p. 927).
hired out for the evening by managers of music-halls. Liddon, with true foresight and at great expense to the Cathedral funds, built a Choir House for his purpose, residence in which was made a sine qua non for the choir.
At this point ends Liddon the man. Now begins Liddon the Monk. The provincial accent of these boys spoiled the chanting of the Te Deum ; and all true choristers, it seems, should have in view a hope of taking Holy Orders ! Hence on this impracticable scheme forty boys were turned adrift to face the evils of London alone, while forty sons of gentlemen (chiefly clergymen) were admitted in their stead ! Thus irresolution and inconsistency became the settled habit of his mind.
In his last days Liddon refreshed his mind with boyish memories of Sir Walter Scott, whose poems and whose novels he firmly believed, on the strength of a single statement in Newman's Apologia, to have given the first impulse to the Oxford Movement. It is natural to all intense minds to regard the whole world in the light of their own beliefs. Liddon, had he perused either Scott's poems in the text or his novels in the footnotes with the most ordinary attention, must have noticed how often that great painter of the manners of a feudal age assures his readers that he has selected from the vices of a dark epoch in the world's history only those gleams of rude and simple incident which he could embellish with his powerful pen into picturesque probability. We have already stated that those who promoted the Tractarian system mistook religion for an art. Here we have found Liddon mistaking the poet's art for a kind of religion.
It is time to close this review. There is however a side to Liddon's life on which we have not touched necessary to the complete portrayal of the man.
Nor has the present writer yet touched upon one important aspect of the Oxford Movement, disclosed by the controversy that has raged round the appearance of Mr. Thompson's work 29 Miracles in the New Testament, itself the fruit of the publication of LUI Mundi some twenty years ago.
A. H. T. CLARKE,
(To be concluded.)
29 See articles by the Rev. Cyril W. Emmet and the Bishop of Winchester, Liberty of Criticism within the Church of England, Nineteenth Century and After, October, November, and December 1911,
FIFTY YEARS OF ITALIAN
FROM NAPLES TO TRIPOLI
'In Italy I know that I am bringing to a close the era of revolutions.' With these trenchant words on the 9th of October 1860 King Victor Emmanuel concluded a Proclamation to the People of Southern Italy, which is one of the most significant documents of the Italian Risorgimento. It was issued at Ancona when the Italian King, still bearing the title of King of Piedmont, set out with his army to cross the frontier of the Two Sicilies and complete the overthrow of the tottering Bourbon dynasty. After sketching in the proclamation the vicissitudes of his own reign and its successes in behalf of Italian liberty and independence, he refers with well-considered frankness to the recent revolution in Sicily, and to the famous filibustering expedition of the Thousand with which Garibaldi, in open defiance of international law and the will of Europe, had sailed out of the harbour of Genova five months before. He declares not only that he, the king, was unable to prevent the expedition, but that it was his duty not to prevent it. He goes on to state that he now enters Southern Italy at the head of his army, not to impose his will on the people, but to see that their will is respected.
Whatever be the gravity of events that may arise [he solemnly asserts] I await tranquilly the judgment of civilised Europe and of history, conscious of having fulfilled my duty as king and as an Italian. In Europe my policy will perhaps not be without effect in helping to reconcile the progress of nations with the stability of monarchical government. In Italy I know that I am bringing to a close the era of revolutions.
The proclamation was addressed to the people of the Two Sicilies, but the king knew that as an affirmation of the principles and policy by which Italian independence and unity were being
· The proclamation was drafted by Farini, and was pronounced 'stupendous' by Cavour. The full text may be found in the volume entitled Il risorgimento d'Italia narrato dai principi di Casa Savoja e dal Parlamento (1848-1878). Firenze, G. Barbèra, 1888, pp. 168-174.
achieved it would fix the attention of Europe. In substance it was a declaration, in the face of the anti-revolutionary powers, of the right of an oppressed and divided people to unite and constitute itself a nation. At the same time it was a declaration, in the face of all Italy beset for forty years with revolution, that the policy of a constitutional government established by the free will of the majority of the nation must be respected. Let it be remembered that these principles were thus resolutely affirmed at the moment when the ministers of France and Russia had been recalled from the court of Piedmont in protest against the occupation of Umbria and the Marches; when the renewal of the war with Austria, with whom diplomatic relations were also broken, was feared as imminent; when the whole Italian peninsula seethed with revolution, and Republican intrigue was everywhere complicating the situation. A few months only had passed since the revolutionary deposition of three sovereigns in Italy and the voluntary annexation of their territory to Piedmont, together with Piedmontese annexation of portions of the States of two other sovereigns still reigning. And a Piedmontese invasion of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies was now being openly undertaken with the evident scope of the additional annexation of a population of nine millions. Such open defiance of the will of the Great Powers, whose malevolent intervention in the peninsula with the purpose of keeping Italy divided had been the curse of centuries, could be bazarded only in the profound consciousness of a great national awakening. Victor Emmanuel knew that his policy represented the will of the immense majority of the Italian people.
If Italy's position at this critical moment in her history, and the magnitude of her development in the half-century that has since passed, are to be justly appreciated, the principal forces in her awakening must be borne in mind. The national characteristics which united her then are the same which have brought her to the prosperous conditions of 1911; they are the great national assets which justify her faith in the momentous undertaking in Tripolitania and assure her power and constant progress.
Italian nationalism, first rousing itself to consciousness, had found its apostle in Giuseppe Mazzini some thirty years earlier. Republican in political creed, but before all Unitarian, he had derived many of his master ideas from Dante, whom he regarded as the prophet of his nation. From the study of Dante his national sentiment deepened into a civic religion; 'God and the People,' ' Duty,' ' Mission,' were words constantly upon his lips. For him and for the thousands of his devoted countrymen who were influenced by his inspired teaching the delivery of Italy