[ Thomas Arnold the Younger. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('T. Arnold') to Rev. R. Hutchinson, regarding the views of St Augustine on 'Perseverance and Predestination' and 'the good works of the heathen'.

Thomas Arnold the Younger [ Tom Arnold ] (1823-1900), Professor at University College, Dublin, son of the headmaster of Rugby School and brother of the poet Matthew Arnold, literary scholar (Wikipedia
Publication details: 
Laleham, The Parks. 22 December 1872. [ Laleham on Thames, Middlesex (now Surrey). ]
SKU: 18743

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, on lightly aged and worn paper. Arnold, whose conversion to Roman Catholicism hindered his academic dvancement in England, was grandfather of the writer Aldous Huxley, and taught James Joyce at Dublin. At the time of writing he was running a private tutoring establishment at Oxford. He begins the letter by explaining that it has hardly been possible to reply to Hutchinson 'during term time [...] I had so much work on my hands'. He is returning 'Canon Bright's letter', and has 'not had time to look at the treatises on Perseverance and Predestination'. He has however 'read some way into the Epistle to Sixtus, and can find in it nothing like a denial of free will on human merit, though this last also he ascribes to an effect of the divine grace. Why some are saved and others lost, he cannot tell; he calls the whole subject a "difficillima quaestio" [...]'. He continues with a number of Latin quotations (including one from a letter to Abbot Valentine of Adrumetum), noting that 'St Austin' was 'misunderstood in his own day as he often is in ours'. He continues: 'With such passages as these to enlighten one as to the Saint's real meaning, may one not well feel reluctant, unless a whole string of predestinarian (in the bad sense) passages were adduced from his writings, to admit that he fell into, or countenanced, error?' He ends with a discussion of 'the good works of the heathen'. Cf. Bernard Bergonzi, A Victorian Wanderer The Life of Thomas Arnold the Younger. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.