The Personalist Project

My search for a Newman quote this morning brought me to his Wikipedia page and this arresting description of him by James Froude (brother of Hurrell Froude, the close friend and companion of Newman's youth, who first opened Newman to Catholicism and helped him launch the Oxford Movement.)

Newman's face was "remarkably like that of Julius Caesar.... I have often thought of the resemblance, and believed that it extended to the temperament. In both there was an original force of character which refused to be moulded by circumstances, which was to make its own way, and become a power in the world; a clearness of intellectual perception, a disdain for conventionalities, a temper imperious and wilful, but along with it a most attaching gentleness, sweetness, singleness of heart and purpose. Both were formed by nature to command others, both had the faculty of attracting to themselves the passionate devotion of their friends and followers.... For hundreds of young men Credo in Newmannum was the veritable symbol of faith."[100]

Here's another fun fact linking Caesar and Newman. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, Newman's most important philosophical work, was published on the Ides of March. I happen to know, because March 15th is my birthday.

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