THIS is, in some ways, a difficult book, and yet a book which cannot, in the interests of Newman or religion, be neglected by anyone who realizes the importance of either one or the other. The difficulty does not arise from the style, which is remarkably clear and entertaining even in the
THIS is, in some ways, a difficult book, and yet a book which cannot, in the interests of Newman or religion, be neglected by anyone who realizes the importance of either one or the other. The difficulty does not arise from the style, which is remarkably clear and entertaining even in the translation. It arises from a certain inconsistency from which the author suffers in consequence of a conscientious fear of bias. He began the study of Newman (as is evident) with an undiscriminating enthusiasm. He then became critical. "Having passed through the first period of enchantment," he tells us, "in which the eyes are still covered with the veil of uncritical admiration, I began to read the Oxford sermons with greater attention and freedom of mind, and took a mischievous delight in bringing together the passages which would allow me to write a chapter on the 'Jansenism of Newman.'" This particular chapter, indeed, never got written, because a maturer study showed him that it would not be just; but there are signs not a few throughout the book that this mischievous delight in collecting evidences of Newman's defects never quite left M. Bremond. On the contrary, it came to be reinforced and accentuated by the perusal of Dr Abbot.
There is no doubt that Henri Bremond is one of the most brilliant writers in criticism that France at present possesses. Had he but trusted his own instincts, he would hardly have laid himself open to attack, for his instincts are little short of infallible. But, unfortunately, there is scarcely a chapter in which we cannot trace the influence of Newman's most uncompromising foe. If Bremond fights against it he fights but half-heartedly, and, in the long run, usually succumbs to it altogether. "Bremond fears too much," says M. Dimnet, "lest he should become Newman's dupe," and the consequence is that he writes like a disillusioned lover.
It is not so much, perhaps, that Bremond fears to become a dupe himself as that he fears lest Newman should make dupes of the young Catholics of France and introduce there that "weakening strain and distorting mark" which Mr. Bagehot found even in the vigorous mind of Mr. Gladstone and traced to the influence of Tractarianism. It is well perhaps that some warning of this kind should be given. It would be the greatest of evils if the brilliant little band of modern French Catholics, who owe so much to Newman, should get, as it were, shut up in him, as have been some of his English admirers. No leader that is followed with absolute docility but will seem to leave on his disciples "a weakening strain and a distorting mark," and the more intense, concentrated, and attractive the leader the more dangerous the docility of his admirers. But Bremond seems rather to threaten with certain disaster than to warn of a possible danger. He speaks of Newman as "a magician," "an enchanter," of Mark Pattison and the rest as "his victims," and then so describes the type to which these victims belonged as to include the whole modern intellect and to leave Newman entirely responsible for the catastrophe which occurred.
-"The Hibbert Journal: A Quarterly Review of Religion," Volume 6! 1908]
- الفئات: تاريخ
- غلاف الكتاب: غلاف عادي
- لغة الكتاب: الانجليزية
- الكاتب: Henri Bremond, H. C. Corrance, Rev George Tyrrell
- الناشر: Createspace
- رقم ال ISBN: 9781506135335
- عدد الصفحات: 380
- لأبعاد (الارتفاع*العرض*العمق): 9 x 6 x 0.78 inches