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For MAY, 1845.
Art. 1. The New Statute and Mr. Ward. By the Rev. F. D. Maurice,
3. The Proposed Degradation and Declaration. By G. Moberly, D. C. L., Head Master of Winchester College. 4. Heads of Consideration on the case of Mr. Ward. By the Rev. J. Keble, late Fellow of Oriel College. 5. Oxford: Tract 90; and Ward's Ideal of a Christian Church, a Practical Suggestion, &c. By the Rev. W. S. Bricknell, M.A., of Worcester College, and one of the Oxford City Lecturers. 6. Subject of Tract 90 Historically Eramined. By the Rev. F. Oakeley, M.A., Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, Prebendary of Lichfield, and Minister of Margaret Chapel, St. Mary-le-bone. 7. M.D.CCC.XLV, the Month of January, Oxford. By W. Winstanley Hull, M.A., of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister at Law, late Fellow of Brasenose College. 8. A Letter to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, &c. By A. C. Tait, D.C.L., Head Master of Rugby School, late Fellow and Tutor of Balliol College. 9. Case of the Proposed Degradation and Declaration, on the Statute of Feb. 13. Submitted to Sir J. Dodson, Knt., Queen's Advocate, and R. Bethell, Esq., Q.C. WOL, XVII. M. M.
10. The University, the Church, and the New Test. By the Rev. J.
Garbett, Prebendary of Chichester, and Professor of Poetry in the
University of Oxford. 11. An Address to Members of Convocation, in Protest against the proposed Statute. By the Rev. W. G. Ward, M.A., Fellow of Balliol
College, Oxford. 12. The Oxford Chronicle.
The above are but a small selection from a host of pamphlets and other productions of the press, which, as soon as the intentions of the Hebdomadal Board, in the case of Mr. Ward, were announced, entered in rapid succession the arena of controversy. Every week witnessed the arrival of new literary forces; and as the meeting of convocation drew near, the intensity of the approaching strife became more strongly apparent. Oxford was evidently to be the scene and the centre of a most unusual excitement. Within the walls of those venerable structures which, in their silent majesty seem the very personification of contemplative 'calmness, how many a learned head was full of anxious thought, how many a heart was palpitating with anticipation and doubt as to the result of the thirteenth of February ensuing ; while the tables of the common rooms were groaning beneath the weight of Appeals, Warnings, and Considerations, addressed to the members of convocation. Even the lighthearted under-graduates ventured an excursion now and then into the regions of thought, and exchanged their sentiments with others of their order with a seriousness quite unusual. The citizens, also, forgetting that hereditary awe which university Brahminism inspires, took an unwonted interest in the ecclesiastical struggle, and not only discussed pretty freely the merits of the controversy, but chose their side, and favoured, at least with their ardent wishes, one or other of the great belligerent parties. But the interest in the proceedings against Mr. Ward was not confined to the city of palaces;' the pulsations of this central heart were felt more or less throughout Europe; there was not, we imagine, a zealous supporter of the papacy, nor a thoughtful protestant, between the Ganges and the Isis, whom tidings of this case had reached, who felt uninterested in its issue.
But why should the proceedings of a literary and theological body towards one of its own members create so general a sensation? What had the community at large to do with the charge of broken faith, and the loss of academical honours? So, without doubt, thought many while they were pursuing their secularities, or working out their professional vocations, and so, as certainly, thought many a German, who casually
heard of the theological disputes between the ecclesiastical authorities, and the monk of Erfurth. Were the case to which we now refer of an isolated kind, were its consequences limited to Mr. Ward, it might pass by, as do university proceedings in general, without exciting interest or inviting comment. But it is only an outward symptom of morbid action throughout a vast system, one single indication of the approaching war of elements, the extent and the consequences of which no sagacity can foresee. Mr. Ward, has, like many a knight of the olden time of high and ardent chivalry, stepped forth from the ranks, and, reckless of danger, has thrown down his gauntlet in the face of a formidable array of hostile power; but he stands not alone; besides his shield-bearer Mr. Oakeley, there is a host, many of whom may blame his temerity, and would have preferred the counsels of the roxsunri; 08wara sū; of Littlemore, who are nevertheless banded in the same cause, and prepared for the great conflict. It may, indeed, be regarded as an affair of advanced posts, but such partial collisions frequently are the prelude to a general engagement. We must therefore regard this demonstration, not merely as an affair personal to Mr. Ward; we must look at it not merely in this single point; to estimate its value, we must take a wider range, a more comprehensive view. It was early in 1833 that a few Oxford divines, deeply imbued with the love of ecclesiastical antiquarianism, and seriously alarmed at the position of the English church and the aspect of the times, met to exchange their sympathies in mutual condolence, and, if possible, to concert measures to meet the present exigency. A tide of popular opinion, unfavourable to the high pretensions and the exclusive spirit of the Church of England, had set in. The Act of Catholic Emancipation had passed, which removed civil disabilities on the ground of religious opinion, from a large portion of British subjects. The Test and Corporation Acts had been repealed, and the way to civic honours was thus opened to dissenters. A liberal ministry was at the head of the government. Ten bishoprics had been taken from the overgrown hierarchy of the Irish church. The Reform Bill had been carried, and a parliament was now convened, in which the spirit of reform was more active than was desired, even by the ministry themselves. Ecclesiastical abuses were denounced. The utility of bishops in the house of peers was questioned. A revision of the liturgy was suggested. Theadmission of dissenters into the national universities even passed the House of Commons; and searching inquiries, with a view to further reforms both in church and state, were proposed. All these things were considered ominous by a considerable M. M. 2
portion of the clergy, and consternation at once alarmed and paralysed them. It was at this conjuncture that the Oxford agitation commenced, and the addresses circulated by a small, but spirited band of men, fell like a spark on combustible matter. One of the first results of this movement, was,' according to the statement of the Hon. and Rev. A. P. Perceval, (the clerical address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, signed by, (I think,) about 7000 of the clergy; and another was, the lay declaration of attachment to the church, signed by upwards of 230,000 heads of families.' (A Collection of Papers, &c., pp. 11, 12.) One of the principal doctrines which it was agreed at a meeting at Oxford to put forward with prominence and zeal, was that of the 'Apostolic succession, as a rule of practice, which is thus laid down':
*(1.) That the participation of the body and blood of Christ is essential to the maintenance of Christian life and hope in each individual.
•(2.) That it is conveyed to individual Christians only by the hands of the successors of the apostles and their delegates.
•(3.) That the successors of the apostles are those who are descended in a direct line from them by the imposition of hands; and that the delegates of these are the respective presbyters whom each has commissioned.' (Collection, &c., p. 12.)
This doctrine, which had been long regarded as a mere obsolete notion, was now circulated with assiduity, and inculcated with great earnestness; it was too flattering to episcopal dignity to be frowned on by the bishops, the clergy eagerly seized it as ministering to their importance; even the evangelical clergy to a considerable extent caught the bait, and among the laity of the high church party, it was thought no small boast that they belonged to a church, whose ministers were descended from the apostles, and whose sacraments were the only channels of grace.
În order to further these, and other church principles of the new school, a new catechism, or an addition to the old one, was drawn up, and most widely circulated, under the title of • The Churchman's Manual ; or Questions and Answers on the Church, on Protestant and Romish Dissenters, and Socinians;' in which, while exclusive privileges are claimed for the national clergy as the only authorized teachers of religion, and the dispensers of God's grace to men, the people are cautioned against those intruders, who, whatever may be their success, may be as great impostors as Mahomet, and whatever their apparent piety, may fear the doom of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. But the most effective means employed, in addition to oral communications, which all were expected earnestly to employ, was that series of publications called Tracts for the Times. These were produced in quick succession, and gradually unfolded a system but little short of popery itself. Tradition was placed side by side with the scriptures, the right of private judgment was denounced, ascetic practices were inculcated, the sacraments administered by the clergy were the only channels of God’s grace; and one after another almost all the peculiarities of Romanism came out. Some blamed unguarded expressions, while numbers, especially of the younger clergy, and the undergraduates at the Universities, became increasingly ripened towards full blown Romanism. All obsolete customs connected with ‘the good old times of ghostly ignorance’ were sought after, and in good measure revived. Books of devotion were printed with red lines, letters were dated according to the saint’sday or the holy feast, crosses were had in great request, fasting according to the rules of Rome, and other penances for the soul's health became general; and onwards the movement went, and its motto might have been ‘ crescit eundo,” Publications in favour of church principles and tractarian theology inundated the kingdom; the press was engaged in almost every way to aid its progress; reviews, periodicals of every kind, weekly and daily journals, sermons and novels, Keble's Christian Year, and . Neale's ballads, all were employed in their respective vocations as auxiliary to this movement in the direction of Rome. It was seen after some time, and that by church and university authorities, whither all this was tending; but as one of its patrons wrote to the Bishop of Oxford, it was gone too far for a mere check; the pulpits in almost every town of England were ringing with it—the colonies of Great Britain in every part of the globe were infected with it; every succeeding generation of undergraduates was exposed to its action, and yearly did the sons of our aristocracy leave their studies impregnated with this more than semi-Romanism, and some of them from time to time joined the church of Rome. Many of the bishops saw now that things were going in a direction which created some apprehension, but it was difficult to stop the current. The Bishop of Oxford had either not perception to discover, or courage to oppose, the tendencies of the new movement. Subject as he was to the constant influences of minds stronger than his own, and disliking evangelical religion himself, he had neither the will nor the power to prevent its progress. In his charge, in 1842, he spoke indeed of some who were proceeding injudiciously and rashly, but his commendations of the party were strong and hearty,