John Henry Newman quotes

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John Henry Newman

Birthdate: 21. February 1801
Date of death: 11. August 1890

John Henry Newman, , was an Anglican priest, poet and theologian and later a Catholic cardinal, who was an important and controversial figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. He was known nationally by the mid-1830s.

Originally an evangelical Oxford University academic and priest in the Church of England, Newman then became drawn to the high-church tradition of Anglicanism. He became known as a leader of, and an able polemicist for, the Oxford Movement, an influential and controversial grouping of Anglicans who wished to return to the Church of England many Catholic beliefs and liturgical rituals from before the English Reformation. In this the movement had some success. In 1845 Newman, joined by some but not all of his followers, officially left the Church of England and his teaching post at Oxford University and was received into the Catholic Church. He was quickly ordained as a priest and continued as an influential religious leader, based in Birmingham. In 1879, he was created a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in recognition of his services to the cause of the Catholic Church in England. He was instrumental in the founding of the Catholic University of Ireland which evolved into University College Dublin, today the largest university in Ireland.

Newman was also a literary figure of note: his major writings including the Tracts for the Times , his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua , the Grammar of Assent , and the poem The Dream of Gerontius , which was set to music in 1900 by Edward Elgar. He wrote the popular hymns "Lead, Kindly Light" and "Praise to the Holiest in the Height" .

Newman's beatification was officially proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 September 2010 during his visit to the United Kingdom. His canonisation is dependent on the documentation of additional miracles attributed to his intercession.

Photo: John Everett Millais / Public domain

Works

Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Apologia Pro Vita Sua
John Henry Newman

„The more I read of Athanasius, Theodoret, etc, the more I see that the ancients did make the Scriptures the basis of their belief.“

—  John Henry Newman, book Apologia Pro Vita Sua

To Richard Hurrell Froude, August 23, 1835.
Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman During His Life in the English Church, 1890, Anne Mozley, ed., Longmans’s Green & Co., London, New York, Volume 2, p. 113. http://books.google.com/books?id=uak8AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA113&dq=%22the+more+i+read+of+athanasius,+theodoret%22&hl=en&ei=CeBlTqH1K4m2sQL91pm3Cg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22the%20more%20i%20read%20of%20athanasius%2C%20theodoret%22&f=false
Context: The more I read of Athanasius, Theodoret, etc, the more I see that the ancients did make the Scriptures the basis of their belief. The only question is, would they have done so in another point besides the θεολογία (theology), etc, which happened in the early ages to be in discussion? I incline to say the Creed is the faith necessary to salvation, as well as to Church communion, and to maintain that Scripture, according to the Fathers, is the authentic record and document of this faith.
It surely is reasonable that 'necessary to salvation' should apply to the Baptismal Creed: 'In the name of,' etc (vid. He who believeth etc.). Now the Apostles' Creed is nothing but this; for the Holy Catholic Church, etc [in it] are but the medium through which God comes to us. Now this θεολογία, I say, the Fathers do certainly rest on Scripture, as upon two tables of stone. I am surprised more and more to see how entirely they fall into Hawkins’s theory even in set words, that Scripture proves and the Church teaches. http://books.google.com/books?id=JbwJVBOvECwC&pg=PA66&dq=%22that+the+sacred+text+was+never+intended+to+teach+doctrine,+but+only+to+prove+it%22&hl=en&ei=k-RlTq__FOStsQKOwrCzCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22that%20the%20sacred%20text%20was%20never%20intended%20to%20teach%20doctrine%2C%20but%20only%20to%20prove%20it%22&f=false
I believe it would be extremely difficult to show that tradition is ever considered by them (in matters of faith) more than interpretative of Scripture. It seems that when a heresy rose they said at once ‘That is not according to the Church's teaching,’ i. e. they decided it by the praejudicium [N. B. prescription] of authority.
Again, when they met together in council, they brought the witness of tradition as a matter of fact, but when they discussed the matter in council, cleared their views, etc., proved their power, they always went to Scripture alone. They never said 'It must be so and so, because St. Cyrian says this, St. Clement explains in his third book of the "Paedagogue," etc.' and with reason; for the Fathers are a witness only as one voice, not in individual instances, or, much less, isolated passages, but every word of Scripture is inspired and available.

„To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.“

—  John Henry Newman

Variant: In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
Source: An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845), Chapter 1, Section 1, Part 7.

„Growth is the only evidence of life.“

—  John Henry Newman

Apologia pro Vita Sua http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/newman/apologia1.html (1864).

„To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.“

—  John Henry Newman

Introduction, Part 5.
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845)

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„Where good and ill together blent,
Wage an undying strife.“

—  John Henry Newman

A Martyr Convert http://www.newmanreader.org/works/verses/verse170.html, st. 3 (1856). Also in Callista Chapter 36 http://www.newmanreader.org/works/callista/chapter36.html (1855).

„It is thy very energy of thought
Which keeps thee from thy God.“

—  John Henry Newman

The Dream of Gerontius http://www.ccel.org/n/newman/gerontius/gerontius.htm, Pt. III (1866).

„The world is content with setting right the surface of things.“

—  John Henry Newman

Discourse VIII, pt. 8.
The Idea of a University (1873)

„Christian! hence learn to do thy part,
And leave the rest to Heaven.“

—  John Henry Newman

St. Paul at Melita http://www.newmanreader.org/works/verses/verse70.html, st. 3 (1833).

„Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another.“

—  John Henry Newman

Discourse V, pt. 9.
The Idea of a University (1873)

„So living Nature, not dull Art,
Shall plan my ways and rule my heart.“

—  John Henry Newman

Nature and Art http://www.newmanreader.org/works/verses/verse5.html, st. 12 (1868).

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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