Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/19

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Church
Church
7

preached in 1836, was said by himself to have been 'in some sort the turning point of his life.' During this interval also he translated St. Cyril's catechetical lectures (1841) for Pusey's 'Library of the Fathers,' in which it formed the second volume. This first piece of literary work, as Church himself admitted later, is a colourless performance.

Church's residence at Oriel as fellow threw him more than ever under the influence of Newman, with whom he formed a fast friendship. Other intimate friends were Frederic Rogers (afterwards Lord Blachford) [q. v.] and James Bowling Mozley [q. v.], who were members of the tractarian party ; but Church's friendships were always wider than his theological sympathies; with Arthur Penrhyn Stanley [q.v.], for instance, notwithstanding the divergence of their views, he remained on terms of friendship to the last. He was ordained deacon at Christmas 1839 in St. Mary's, in company with Stanley, and in the same year was somewhat reluctantly obliged to take a vacant tutorship a post which brought him into close and not very congenial relations with the undergraduates. To make up for time thus diverted from study he stayed in Oxford to read during the long vacations. He surrendered the tutorship in 1842, in consequence of the suspicion that fell upon all members of the tractarian party after the publication of Newman's tract No. 90 upon the articles. In 1844 Church was junior proctor, and in the convocation of 13 Feb. with his colleague, Henry Peter Guillemard of Trinity, vetoed the proposal to censure Tract 90. Characteristically, in his account of the proceedings (The Oxford Movement, p. 382), Church gives no hint of his own share in the business, but a letter of the period to Newman makes plain that, though Guillemard as the senior proctor actually spoke the decisive words nobis procuratoribus non placet, it was the junior proctor who had taken the initiative' and influenced his colleague. An address signed by over five hundred members of the university was presented to the proctors, thanking them for the course they had taken.

In 1845 Newman joined the church of Rome, and for fifteen years the two friends neither met nor corresponded, though subsequently there was a renewal of the old familiar relations. The effect of Newman's secession was for a time to break up the tractarian movement in Oxford, but a secondary result was to spread it more effectually through the country. A sign of a new era was the starting of the 'Guardian ' newspaper by Church and a few friends—James Mozley, Thomas Henry Haddan[q.v.], Lord Blachford, Mountague Bernard [q. v.J, and others. Church presided over the reviews, contributing him- self largely, his historical interests being shown by reviews of such books as Carlyle's 'Cromwell,' and his scientific interests by a notice of the 'Sequel to the Vestiges of Creation,' which earned the commendation of Sir Richard Owen [q. v.], and by an article on Le Verrier's discovery of the planet Neptune, which drew an appreciatory letter from the great astronomer. These and other reviews, from the 'Guardian' and 'Saturday Review,' being for the most part original studies on the questions treated, have been collected into two volumes of 'Occasional Papers,' 1897. The remaining six years at Oxford were not eventful. The greater part of 1847 was spent by Church in foreign travel, and the essays he contributed on his return to the 'Christian Remembrancer' upon foreign politics and politicians proved that he had travelled with his eyes open. The essay on Dante was published in the 'Christian Remembrancer for January 1850. These papers were collected by his friends, when he left Oxford in 1853, into a volume of 'Essays and Reviews' (1854).

In the autumn of 1853 Church, who wished to marry, resigned his fellowship andaccepted the living of Whatley, a small parish of two hundred people, in Somerset, and proceeded to priest's orders at Christmas, taking up his residence at Whatley in the following January and marrying in July. The care of a small country village was at first strange to him, and pastoral work at Whatley was not made less difficult by the fact that his predecessor had been non-resident ; but Church's high sense of duty made him devote himself unsparingly to the interests of his people, which very soon became his own interests, and he gradually won their confidence. Three series of his 'Village Sermons' have been published since his death (1892-7). Their tone reveals the earnest piety and sense of the reality of unseen things which distinguish all his religious writings; but their form, owing to the endeavour to impress the slow minds of a country congregation, si somewhat lengthy and cumbrous. They are said to have been listened to with attention. Probably not the least effective part of the sermon was the preacher's personality. At Whatley, Church contributed regularly to the 'Guardian' and the 'Saturday Review,' and occasionally to the 'Christian Remembrancer.' In 1857 an essay upon Montaigne appeared as one of the ' Oxford Essays.' Much of his correspondence during this