[Letter of James Martineau to Francis William Newman. Context is required and is provided by Drummond and Upton, as follows:]

        In the course of this year [1852] a review of Rogers's "Eclipse of Faith," from the pen of the Rev. Charles Wicksteed, appeared in the "Prospective." F. W. Newman thought that this review did him a grave injustice by adopting Rogers's misrepresentations of the views expressed in "Phases of Faith." On August 11 he wrote a remonstrance to Mr. Martineau, complaining at the same time that the latter had misunderstood the passage about Fletcher of Madeley. On the 13th Mr. Martineau replied, defending his own criticisms, but declaring that he had read the review "with serious mortification and offence." On the 18th he sent a long communication on the subject to Mr. Wicksteed, who, however, was unable to perceive that any reparation was due; and, after some further correspondence, Mr. Martineau, moved by a chivalrous sense of justice, wrote the following letter:—

Park Nook, Liverpool,
Sept. 9, 1852.

    My dear Wicksteed,

        Your decision to let Mr. Newman's remonstrance pass without result—a decision which, with your view of the case, is perfectly natural—settles the affair as between you and him; and though he may regret his inability to convince you, he has no right to expect an acknowledgment from you which you could not sincerely make.

        And as between you and the "Prospective," there is nothing but a difference of judgment, which—though certainly affecting our treatment of very fundamental matters—I should be altogether disinclined to press to any serious consequences, and should be quite content with discussing in hope of attaining greater unity for the future, or permitting to remain, were this impossible.

        But as between Mr. Newman and myself, I feel the case to be very different. He complains to me, as a responsible Editor, of a literary injustice; I acknowledge to him that he has grounds for his complaint, and undertake to see, as far as in me lies, that right shall be done. In this I fail. Nothing can be plainer than that I am in honour bound to withdraw from a position, in which I am obliged to confess, and unable to repair, an injustice. Inability to give effect to opinions on matters of thought is no sufficient reason for quitting a joint enterprise, necessarily involving a mixture and balance of judgments. But inability to give effect to one's sense of right in matters of personal ethics is an imperative reason for declining a responsibility whose moral conditions can no longer be answered. Did I not act on this principle, I should feel as if always under Mr. Newman's silent reproach; "you felt that your 'Review' had done me wrong, yet made yourself a party to smothering the wrong and putting a good face upon it; and this, though you knew that by my frequent contributions to the 'Prospective,' and your frequent notices of my books, your 'Review' was likely to be particularly trusted as a fair expounder of my views."

        I have therefore only to write to Newman and report to him that I have ceased to be one of the Editors of the "Review." This done, I shall not feel it necessary to make any public explanation of the reason for withdrawal; but shall simply wish some advertisements to appear immediately with the omission of my name. I shall still be not less willing than before to accept, as a contributor, any work that may be entrusted to me, and that other claims allow me to execute. In short, it will make no difference in my feeling towards the "Review" or towards my dear and honoured Editorial friends,—whom I know to be as good and noble and simply truth-loving, where they leave me to a lonely path, as where I can walk with them side by side.

.  .  .  .  .

Ever affectionately yours,        
James Martineau.    

        Mr. Wicksteed immediately replied in a kind letter, saying that he must be the one to withdraw. However, "a long and brisk controversy" took place among the Editors; and on the 15th of October Mr. Martineau was able to write to Newman, proposing that he should send for insertion in the next number a note, addressed to the writer of the "Review," stating compendiously the points on which he felt that his sentiments had been unfairly presented. This proposal was declined; and Mr. Martineau wrote as follows on October 27:—

    My dear Newman,

        It grieves me that it seems to you impossible for us to do anything towards setting you right with our readers; and still more, that a former article of mine should be the obstacle hindering us from making due reparation now. What can I say, but that I have entertained no wish in relation to the article on the "Eclipse of Faith" that I would not equally apply to the article on the "Phases"; and that the "Prospective" would have been open, had I known, as the "Miscellanies" are still, now that I do know your feeling, to any explanation or complaint you may judge to be fit? I cannot truthfully confess any consciousness of mistake or wrong; but if I have unconsciously given you cause to feel "aggrieved," I should desire that others might have an opportunity of correcting me where I cannot correct myself. But may it not be that any Review containing strong expressions of dissent—expressions no stronger than you would yourself feel to be natural and necessary in noticing a work assailing your convictions—would produce much the same impression.

        The matter of course dies a natural death, as the only course which occurred to us as at once possible and incumbent on us is declined. As to your being "one of our writers," it was not in the least on that ground that we made our proposal; except that it must needs be more painful to hurt a friend and benefactor than a stranger. But for the future, if you desire it, we will not ask you to help us; only do not refuse to receive our numbers as they appear, if it be but to scold us at the right time and place, and check our aberrations. Let us keep you near us, if not as writer, at least as our faithful censor. At all events be not so unrelenting as positively to turn us out of your house.

.  .  .  .  .

Yours ever affectionately,         
James Martineau.    

        This called forth from Newman so warm a tribute of friendship that a few words must be quoted: "Though your affection is so deep, and generosity so wide, I fear your sensitiveness may be something so intense, that I may be unable to still your pain at the idea that you have committed an injury on me, or that I think you have. . . . Now of this, my very dear and tender-hearted and conscientious friend, be assured. Your writing against has not made me think more meanly of your talents and of your insight, nor of your fairness; but it has solely aided my charity towards others. . . . As for you, I so know your noble heart, your upright mind, and your personal affection, that when you also misunderstand me, it has no weight whatever to make me for a moment think you do so on purpose." This letter was regarded as an act of oblivion, and after some further correspondence all ended amicably.