When the Catholic hierarchy in England was restored in 1850, Dr Newman preached at the installation of the first Bishop of Birmingham. This booklet is a transcript of what he preached. It is difficult now to imagine the condition of Catholics in the England of 1850 when, after three hundred years, the Catholic hierarchy was restored. Catholicism seemed to be an alien thing, full of superstition and tyranny and the suppression of free enquiry and intellectual dignity.
Newman eloquently outlines this situation, and argues that it is no more than a Christian should expect: this was what was promised to the first disciples. Yet we, like Peter, are called to step out of the boat and walk towards Christ: so we should know that our fears, like his, are groundless. Jesus will take our hand and keep us safe; at his word, the storm will cease and the waters fall.
Today, we may not recognise the situation that Newman saw in 1850; but it does not take much imagination to apply what he said then, to the surely analogous challenges Catholics face now.