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5 - Justification

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2009

Ian Ker
Affiliation:
St Benet's Hall, Oxford
Terrence Merrigan
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
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Summary

From 1 August to 21 December 1816 a very young John Henry Newman underwent a conversion which Louis Bouyer has described as an experience which 'left its seal upon him forever'. Newman never repudiated that conversion, nor did he ever question its authenticity. Many years later he said of it: 'When I was fifteen (in the autumn of 1816) a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite creed and received into my intellect impressions of dogma which, through God's mercy, have never been effaced or obscured.' Later he specified that this creed was 'at the time Calvinistic in character', adding that the religious impressions he then received 'were to him the beginning of a new life'. In calling it 'Calvinistic' Newman was not referring to Calvinism as understood on the European continent at the time but rather to the doctrines of the Evangelical party of the Church of England. The Evangelical Revival of the eighteenth century was basically a reaction to the cold, lifeless form of religion which prevailed within much of the Church of England of the time. As such it was an appeal more to the heart than to the head. Nevertheless, despite allowing for a wide variety of doctrinal interpretations, there were certain essential points on which all Evangelicals were agreed. Fundamental to all of these was the firm conviction of the total depravity of human nature as a result of Adam's sin. But to remedy this there was the great good news of the Gospel: the Atonement, which for Evangelicals meant that Christ was punished not only on behalf of, but instead of, sinful humankind.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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  • Justification
  • Edited by Ian Ker, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Terrence Merrigan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman
  • Online publication: 28 May 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871860.005
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  • Justification
  • Edited by Ian Ker, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Terrence Merrigan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman
  • Online publication: 28 May 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871860.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Justification
  • Edited by Ian Ker, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Terrence Merrigan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman
  • Online publication: 28 May 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871860.005
Available formats
×