This article focuses on the representation of Methodist preacher Mary Bosanquet Fletcher (1739–1815) in her biography by the Revd Henry Moore. His omissions and commentary served to neutralise some of her more radical ideas and early feminism, which can be discovered by reading her manuscript journals, as well as the manuscript correspondence between Mary Tooth, keeper of Mary Fletcher’s papers, and Henry Moore. The product of archival research in the Methodist collections at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, this article owes a great debt to archivists Dr Peter Nockles and Dr Gareth Lloyd.
Henry Manning’s (1808–92) transition from Anglican to Roman Catholic convert has not received the extensive attention that John Henry Newman’s journey to Roman Catholicism has received. Though more than a half dozen treatments have appeared in recent decades, newly acquired archival resources received by the Westminster Diocesan Archives in 2014 warrant a new appraisal of the events leading to his conversion. How could a committed adherent of the Oxford Movement, who did not initially follow Newman’s example in 1845, make the decision to leave the Church of his birth in 1851? What interior process enabled Archdeacon Henry Manning to preside over the assembly of Chichester clergy that condemned ‘papal aggression’ in 1850, and announce at the conclusion of the vote that he would be received into the Roman communion? This article outlines undercurrents in Manning’s thought, traces of which can be found in his undergraduate years, and considers concepts that culminated in the decision that changed his life, and guided his Roman Catholic ecclesial outlook. His role in shaping the agenda of Vatican I and the post-conciliar era heightens the significance of this background.
This article compares the typological exegesis promoted by E. B. Pusey (1800–82) and his colleagues John Henry Newman and John Keble with that of their eighteenth-century Hutchinsonian predecessor William Jones of Nayland (1726–1800). Building on Peter Nockles’s argument that Jones’s emphasis on the figurative character of biblical language foreshadows the Tractarian application of the sacramental principle to exegesis, this article shows how this common approach differs from the more cautious one displayed by the High Church luminaries William Van Mildert and Herbert Marsh. At the same time, both Pusey’s criticism of the mainstream apologetics of his day and his more explicit application of the doctrine of the Incarnation to exegesis resulted in bolder interpretations and a greater emphasis on the necessity of figurative readings (of both the Bible and the natural world) than Jones generally proposed. A shared appreciation of the principle of reserve may explain both these differences and the Tractarian emphasis on a patristic, rather than a Hutchinsonian, inspiration for their approach.
In 1869, Parliament disestablished the Church of Ireland, dissolving what Benjamin Disraeli called the ‘sacred union’ of church and state in Ireland. Disestablishment involved fundamental issues – the identity and purpose of the established church, the religious nature of the state, the morality of state appropriation of church property for secular uses, and the union of Ireland and Britain – and debate was carried on at a high intellectual level. With disestablishment, the Church of Ireland lost much of its property, but it recovered, now as an independent Episcopal church with a renewed mission. The idea of the United Kingdom as a semi-confessional Protestant state, however, was dealt a serious blow.
The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.