'Mr. Kingsley has just afforded, at his own expense, a genuine literary pleasure to all who can find intellectual pleasure in the play of great powers of sarcasm, by bringing Father Newman from his retirement and showing, not only one of the greatest of English writers, but perhaps the very greatest master of delicate and polished sarcasm in the English language, still in full possession of all the powers which contributed to his wonderful mastery of that subtle and dangerous weapon. Mr. Kingsley is a choice though perhaps too helpless victim for the full exercise of Father Newman's powers. But he has high feeling and generous courage enough to make us feel that the sacrifice is no ordinary one; yet the title of one of his books,—"Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers"—represents too closely the character of his rough but manly intellect, so that a more opportune Protestant ram for Father Newman's sacrificial knife could scarcely have been found; and, finally, the thicket in which he caught himself was, as it were, of his own choosing, he having rushed headlong into it quite without malice, but also quite without proper consideration of the force and significance of his own words. Mr. Kingsley is really without any case at all in the little personal controversy we are about to notice; and we think he drew down upon himself fairly the last keen blow of the sacrificial knife by what we must consider a very inadequate apology for his rash statement.
'Mr: Kingsley, in the ordinary steeplechase fashion in which he chooses not so much to think as to splash up thought—dregs and all—(often very healthy and sometimes very noble, but always very loose thought), in one's face, had made a random charge against Father Newman inMacmillan's Magazine ... The sermon in question, which we have carefully read, certainly contains no proposition of the kind to which Mr. Kingsley alludes, and no language even so like it as the text taken from Our Lord's own words, "Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
' ... We must say that the whole justice of the matter seems to us on Dr. Newman's side, that Mr. Kingsley ought to have said, what is obviously true, that, on examining the sermon no passage will bear any colourable meaning at all like that he had put upon it. And yet it is impossible not to feel that Dr. Newman has inflicted almost more than an adequate literary retribution on his opponent; more than adequate, not only for the original fault, but for the yet more faulty want of due candour in the apology. You feel somehow that Mr. Kingsley's little weaknesses, his inaccuracy of thought, his reluctance to admit that he had been guilty of making rather an important accusation on the strength of a very loose general impression, are all gauged, probed, and condemned by mind perfectly imperturbable in its basis of intellect though vividly sensitive to the little superficial ripples of motive and emotion it scorns.'