This article follows Newman’s writings mainly with a systematic (thematic) methodology; it does not, however, ignore the historical, since we can best see Newman’s ecclesiology evolve within his historical context. In his Evangelical years, the adolescent Newman distrusted “material elements,” including, of course, the visible church, but after his Anglican ordination, the (then) vicar of St. Clement’s began to preach on various aspects of the church as "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.” The cumulative effect of the theological debates at Oxford, together with his pastoral experience and personal reflections, gradually led Newman to a more high church ecclesiological approach, especially on visibility, invisibility, and apostolicity of the church.
In a sermon delivered on 26 October 1835, entitled The Church Visible and Invisible, Newman affirmed that “the sight of the sins of Christians has led us to speak” of both dimensions (visible and invisible dimensions of the church), despite the fact that such expression has no biblical basis: “Scripture does not speak of two bodies, one visible, the other invisible.” This leads him to claim unity between the two, although conceptually and categorically we differentiate them: “we view it as, on the whole, but one in different aspects.” It is like differentiating between concave and convex. Thus, the church is “as Visible, because consisting (for instance) of clergy and laity—as Invisible, because resting for its life and strength upon unseen influences and gifts from Heaven.”
In his first decade as a fellow at Oriel College (1821–1831), Newman’s sermons often contrasted the kingdom of heaven with the earthly and temporal. Referring to the creed, he described the visible church as “one” and “apostolic.” The apostolicity of the church is evident, he claimed, both in the celebration of the Eucharist and in her hierarchical structure. As his early sermons note, these two visible dimensions were distinct from, but complementary with the charismatic or invisible dimension. Thus, he explained in 1825, “the idea of the Christian Church, as a divine appointment, and as a substantive visible body, [is] independent of the State, and endowed with rights, prerogatives and powers of its own.”
Many of these early ideas persist into his later Anglican years and can be found in his Sermons (1824–1843). For example, in a sermon delivered at St. Clement’s on Sunday, 4 December 1825—later titled as On the Use of the Visible Church—Newman commented on the Pauline passage where it is written: “The Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Reflecting on this passage, he writes: “By the expression, ‘Church of God’, is not only meant the general body of spiritual Christians who live by faith in their Savior,” but also that church is “that visible community, which is governed by certain laws, and directed by certain governors.” The legal and institutional condition of the church is therefore inalienable and must be held in tension with the spiritual and sacramental condition. Newman’s ecclesiology as described here resonates with Lumen Gentium §48, which describes the church as a “universal sacrament of salvation,” including both visible and invisible aspects. The visible church thus presents to us the invisible church. Although only God can see the members of the “unseen Church,” yet in the case of the “visible Church [...] we can discern its members—Baptism is an ordinance as we can see—clergy, bishops, and ministers are actually known by us to be such.”
The existence of the church has to do with the question of the truth that lies in the church of Christ: “The institution however of the visible Church is accompanied by most important uses—and it is of this that my text speaks, calling it the pillar and ground of truth.” Newman went on to list the various reasons the visible church as an institution was needed, including how it has “preserved our holy faith from being lost and given up.” Furthermore, Newman argued for the apostolicity of the church and the role of the apostolic succession—that is, how the apostles develop their succession, which has continued generation after generation: “In this sense then the visible Church has been the pillar and ground of the truth inasmuch as it has, under grace, the knowledge of the Son of God in this evil world, and has been the instrument of the Holy Spirit.” So, the subject of apostolic succession indeed interested him above all from the point of view of doctrine, but he does not still mention here the ontological and sacramental succession, derived from the chain of succession in the laying on of hands by a bishop, to deliver the power of the Spirit. He seems to understand this apostolic succession as the continuity in the faith of the apostles.
Some years after, on Sunday, 18 December 1831, Newman mentioned the apostolicity of the church in his sermon On the Ministerial Order: “That body, of which the apostles themselves were the first members, has (as a matter of fact) been continued, as any other body might be continued, to the present day.” Here is just the idea of the apostolicity, understood in a sacramental-ontological way. Development of this idea can be seen in Newman’s sermon preached on St. Bartholomew’s day in 1840: “the very first view—he started—, regarded even as a mere human institution, the ministerial body has (it is plain) a venerable character and a dignity, to which no other body can lay claim.” Although there are a “multitude of Christian teachers and champions and rulers,” they have no “divine origin” as the apostles have. Newman writes, “No other society is thus directly a divine ordinance.” The sacred order is “the chief (almost the sole) instrument of the world’s regeneration, the foundation on what the Apostle calls ‘the general assembly’ [Heb 12:23] of Christians.” Newman also explains the pneumatological dimension of the apostolicity in the church. According to Newman, “the sacraments are administered by ministerial order,” and “our Lord solemnly breathed upon its founders the Apostles, and imparted to them the Holy Ghost—and their successors down to this day, have followed his pattern in the rite of ordination.” This “Apostolic Ministry,” then, is understood as “the essence and the bond of the Church of Christ,” because “the Christian Ministry is not a mere office but an order, so the distinction with the baptismal priesthood is not only functional but also ontological-sacramental, related with the pneumatological dimension of the Church.” This prescription comes not from a human origin, according to Newman, so “the Church is, as a matter of history, an existing divine ordinance.”
Some years before Newman preached the sermons just discussed, on the afternoon of 19 November 1826, Newman preached a sermon at St. Clement’s, entitled, On the One Catholic and Apostolic Church. When commenting on the final words of the Matthew’s Gospel (28:18–20), he began by underlining that “the One Catholic and Apostolic Church” is an article of the Christian faith, which the Nicene creed teaches. Newman then goes on to ask: What church is this? In this situation he appeals to the Pauline concept of the mystical body of Christ: “Now the Christian Church is like a company or corporation […] a society, a body corporate (so to speak) a system composed of many parts differing one from another yet all united of various members but making one body, of various ranks, of various situations.” The young vicar of St. Clement’s lists five aspects of the apostolic origins of the Church:
1) Jesus Christ celebrated the last supper with the express purpose that his followers would gather together to celebrate his memory. The liturgical origin of the church is also evident here and reflects the eucharistic ecclesiology of communion developed by the fathers of the church.
2) The apostles and their successors governed Christian communities, which Saint Paul called pillars, and they were “formally ordained by the laying on of hands.” Therefore, Newman already mentions not only the apostolicity of the Church but also apostolic succession, and we find here an ontological and sacramental succession, and not only as a mere continuity in the apostles’ doctrine.
3) The visible body of the church is regulated by laws, and the apostles were invested with the “power of spiritual censures,” that is, with a capacity for doctrinal teaching.
4) Since apostolic times, there has been a “systematic form of Church government among Christians,” to preserve the Christian faith and the purity of Christian doctrine, holiness, and piety, as well as to promote unity, and excluding schism and heresy.
5) Therefore, the tria munera, the functions of worship, teaching, and government proper to the apostolic ministry and its successors shows that these apostolic aspects are indeed evident in the contemporary church.
Newman also discusses the unity of the “One Holy Apostolic” church in terms of the “branch theory” of the church (which declared there to be one Anglican Church in England, another Presbyterian Church in Scotland, another in Catholic and Orthodox countries). Newman explains that all are members and descendants of the early church for which the apostles gave their lives. However, he regretted at the same time that many of these branches had drifted away from the faith of Jesus Christ, and he encouraged his congregation to pray in an ecumenical spirit for all the other “branches” of the church. He remembers that “He [Christ] did not make many sects, He founded but the One Church.” Thus, Newman insists that the church is a visible, public institution, manifested abroad and based on apostolic pillars—an entity, established by the apostles, that continues to this day. He also recalled that Saint Paul condemned divisions and prohibited Christians from unnecessarily distancing themselves from the church. God built one Church, not a multitude of them, to say it bluntly. Newman sees this “one Apostolic Church” as “the Church of Bishops Priests and Deacons,” “the Mother of grace and comfort,” and as “the temple of that Spirit who must convert and sanctify every individual Christian.”
This doctrine also appears in some of Newman’s other writings. In Tract 2, entitled The Catholic Church (9 September 1833), for example, Newman raised the question of whether “the Clergy should abstain from politics” and pointed out that “there is an unexceptionable sense in which a Clergyman may, nay, must be political,” because “the Nation interferes with the rights and possessions of the Church.” The union between church and state, or throne and altar, that characterizes the Anglican Church is partly reflected in these words, but they thus constitute affirmations in favor of a confessional Anglican church. On the other hand, Newman affirms that “an interference with things spiritual” goes directly against the Anglican belief in “the One Catholic and Apostolic Church, because it has neither a spiritual nor a universal authority. The Catholic Church is much wider as a local State, and the apostolicity is a guarantee of this independence. In such a case, “there is on earth an existing Society, Apostolic as founded by the Apostles, Catholic because it spreads its branches in every place; i.e., the Church Visible with its Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.” 
On 11 November 1833, Newman published Tract 11 (The Visible Church), which took the form of two letters to a friend about the visible church. In response to his friend’s argument that “the love of CHRIST is surely the one and only requisite for Christian communion here, and the joys of heaven hereafter,” the Oxford preacher insists that “the doctrine of the Visible Church” and “the duty of gratitude to it” is “revealed in Scripture.” Following 1 Corinthians 12, Newman mentions that “we are taught first, the SPIRIT’S indwelling in the Visible Church or body.” He also underlines that the sacraments “are clearly in possession of the Church”: “the Visible Church is not a voluntary association of the day, but a continuation of one which existed in the age before us, and then again in the age before that; and so back till we come to the age of the Apostles.”
As we have seen, Newman understands the church as a visible entity, but he also explains that within the church is an invisible, mysterious, and charismatic dimension. In this dimension the church is constituted as the Mystical Body of Christ. The invisible church, in communion with the Trinity, is the very mystery of God’s communion with humanity, and of and men and women’s communion with each other. Thus, it is constituted as the new people of God. Newman, with his meticulous and comprehensive historical perspective, cannot evade the continuity between the synagogue and the church, the old and the new covenants, the chosen people and the new people of God, which is more explicit Newman’s understanding of the invisible church. There is a contrast between the old, visible Jerusalem and the new, invisible Jerusalem in which we participate sacramentally and liturgically. Newman stresses the importance of participation in things invisible for the new covenant
The bride of Christ has her ultimate foundation in Jesus Christ, her founder, and her penultimate foundation in the apostles. The mutual complementarity between the head and the limbs has a more intimate nucleus constituted by the Eucharistic presence, as teaches the eucharistic ecclesiology of communion. Thus, she declares unity between the visible and invisible, material and spiritual, hierarchical and charismatic, sacramental and communal dimensions of the church: “In this Visible Church the Church Invisible is gradually moulded and matured. It is formed slowly and variously by the Blessed Spirit of God.” However, the pneumatological dimension of the church as a temple of the Holy Spirit is only alluded to. In the eucharistic species there are both dimensions, invisibility and visibility, as in the church
In The Glory of the Christian Church (29 November 1834), Newman uses an image of the church militant: “The Church then, considered as one army militant, proceeding forward from the house of bondage to Canaan, gains the victory, and accomplishes what is predicted of her, though many soldiers fall in the battle.” And he again uses ecclesiological expressions when describing liturgical celebrations:
“And hence it is that so much stress is to be laid upon the duty of united worship; for thus the multitude of believers coming together, claim as one man the grace which is poured out upon the one undivided body of Christ mystical. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in His name, He is in the midst of them;’ [Mt 18:20] nay rather, blessed be His name!”
In this instance, Newman describes that the visibility is rooted in the church invisible: the church can be understood in this way, as the people of God who gather around the word and the body and blood of Christ.
The invisibility of the people of God has a clear and spiritual, invisible origin. Thus, the church can be seen as the new Israel. The continuity between the old and the new covenant appears in Newman’s writings as an Anglican priest in The Kingdom of the Saints (January-February 1835). Newman an image of a tree: “If the Christian Church has spread its branches high and wide over the earth, its roots are fixed as deep below the surface. The intention of Christ and His Apostles, on which I have dwelt, is itself but the accomplishment of ancient prophecy.” Similarly, with certain romanticism Newman evokes the first Christians as a golden age of the church, which in turn continues the inheritance received from the chosen people.
In a sermon preached in Littlemore on 31 May 1835 (On the Sanctity of the Churches), Newman declares that “the Jewish Church [sic] was local—the Christian is Catholic i.e., universal,” and he invokes the words of Christ: “where two or three are gathered together in my name” (Matt 18:20). He insists on the difference between new and old covenant according its ecclesiastical traditions, and in his explanation of the necessity of “regeneration.” Newman also explains that the new covenant provides a purification. As considering the baptism as lavacro regenerationis, as a “miracle,” “so wonderful,” “surely the Holy Eucharist in not less so.” These “ordinances of grace” sanctify the church. The communio sanctorum is a communio around the sancta, the celebrated mysteries. Newman continues: “I have been insisting on two great and comfortable ideas—the sacredness of a Christian Church—and next our great privilege in being allowed to multiply them when we will, to any extent, and in any place.”
The difference between the old and new covenants for Newman is largely one of a focus on the visible versus a focus on the invisible. On 7 June 1835, at St. Mary the Virgin Church, in a sermon entitled On the Kingdom of heaven or the Church as mysterious, Newman commented on the words of Revelation (21:3). “Surely it is time for us to fear lest our heavenly inheritance also slip through our hands, lest what the text speaks out of, the dwelling of God among His Saints hereafter, turn out to be merely a figure and shadow.” Here Newman outlines that the most important part of the church, despite our attachment to the visible church, is the invisible church. In comparison with “the wonders of Judaism,” Newman explains, “ours are unseen and spiritual, as being the ministration of the Spirit,” and “on our sacred mysteries (are celebrated)—spiritual marvels follow—the devils tremble, the Saints rejoice, the dead are comforted, God is glorified.” In other words, the liturgical celebration in the church participates in the liturgical life of the heavenly Jerusalem. This vision of the church is not only sacramental and liturgical, but also eschatological.
The following quotes demonstrate the link between the church visible and invisible and the sacramental quality of this union. As a consequence of the Incarnation of the Son of God, Newman writes, “from Him and Him alone, comes whatever there is of grace in the Church, which is but His instrument.” Thus, Newman insisted on the church’s sacramental role. With this he also insisted on her invisible character: “His Church is no mere human society, but a body visible indeed of course, because made up of men, but inwardly marked and signed by strange and secret privileges. No one can doubt Christ was then speaking about something mysterious.” The Holy Spirit brings every Christian into a new relationship with the communion of saints (see 1 Cor 12:13). Newman writes, “Surely the whole Church, living and dead, is bound together into one communion. From the Apostles downwards there has been but one body, one spirit.” And in accordance with Rev 21:3, Newman states, “the Christian Church is a certain sense a heaven upon earth; … and he [Christ] acts upon us mysteriously in Sacraments and ordinances.”
As we have seen, the apostolicity of the church was one of Newman’s great themes, first as an Anglican and then as a Catholic. Indeed, just before 29 October 1833, in Tract 7 entitled The Episcopal Church Apostolical, Newman criticized Calvinist ministers who “have presumed to exercise the power of ordination, and to perpetuate a succession of ministers, without having received a commission to do so.” In fact, Newman writes, “the Apostles and their Successors have in every age committed portions of their power and authority to others, who thus become their delegates, and in a measure their representatives, and are called Priests and Deacons.” Newman summarized his position in three points:
1) “The fact of the Apostolical Succession” is “too notorious to require proof,” so it is presented as evidence.
2) In turn, “the doctrine of a Succession” includes “a class of persons set apart from others for religious offices,” that is, the apostles and their successors.
3) “CHRIST promised He would be with His Apostles always, as ministers of His religion, even unto the end of the world.” The apostles should be the roots that unite the church with her founder.
As a complement to his third letter, Newman published Tract 19 entitled On arguing concerning the Apostolical Succession (December 23, 1833), in which he briefly set out the biblical basis for “the necessity of Episcopal Ordination, in order to constitute a Minister of Christ.” In response to a friend, Newman contrasts “the argument for the Apostolical Succession” of the “ordination of Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas” (Acts 13:2–3) to the assertion that “their ordination might have been an accidental rite, intended merely to commission them for their Missionary journey.” Furthermore, “St. Paul’s direction to Timothy” (1 Tim. 22) to “‘lay hands suddenly on no man’ may refer to confirmation, not ordination.” Newman responds by insisting that “ordination has ever been thought necessary in the Church for the Ministerial Commission.” Refusing the doctrine of the sola Scriptura, two years later he wrote: a “strict Traditio from one hand to another, from definite person to definite person, official and exact, which I may call Apostolical or Episcopal,” whose “doctrines” such as the Apostles’ Creed were “necessary for Church Communion” and were “fundamentals even if the Scripture said nothing about them.”
The role of Tradition, understood in an apostolic, sacramental, and ontological sense seems to be definitive also in these of sermons. Newman’s conception of apostolic succession changed later from his Anglican days to his time as a Roman Catholic, as it seems to be evident. Besides the teachings of Scripture, Newman understood that the doctrine concerning the apostolic succession, the visible and invisible church must be understood in as a coherent ecclesiological whole. Old and new covenants, Scripture, Tradition and sacraments, visibility and invisibility, apostolicity and charismatic, and Christological and pneumatological understanding of the church as body of Christ are all profoundly united in the ecclesiology described here.
 The idea presented here is expounded upon in Ryan Marr, To be Perfect is to have Changed Often: the Development of John Henry Newman's Ecclesiological Outlook, 1845?1877 (Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2018), 151?165.
 Newman, Apo, ed. Martin J. Svaglic (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), 19?20; See Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (Oxford University Press, 2009), 8?18; Frank Turner, John Henry Newman: The Challenge to Evangelical Religion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002).
 The sermon follows with these words: “Properly speaking, the One Church is the whole body gathered together from all ages; so that the Church of this very age is but part of it, and this in the same sense in which the Church in England, again, in this day, is but part of the present Church Catholic” (222). The invisible church would thus be principally the communio sanctorum, where the saints are already united in Christ to the Trinity. Regarding the visible church, the church resorts to the habitual model of the body of Christ (see 1 Cor 12:13ff.). To fulfill this model, the church is animated by the Spirit. Speaking of this Spirit, Newman writes: “consider the figure of a tree, which is our Lord's own instance. A vine has many branches, and they are all nourished by the sap which circulates throughout. There may be dead branches, still they are upon one and the selfsame tree.” Here the pneumatological dimension of the Church as a temple of the Spirit appears in a more explicit way (Newman, PS iii, 16.224).
 Newman, AW, ed. Henry Tristram (London and New York: Sheed & Ward, 1956), 69.
 Newman, Sermons 1824?1843, vol. iv: The Church and Miscellaneous Sermons at St Mary and Littlemore 1828?1842 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 3.28.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843; see Ker, Newman on Vatican II, 86?87. An allusion to the complementarity between the common and the ministerial priesthood can be seen here, although the Second Vatican Council considers them as “they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree” (LG §10). Concerning the doctrine of Incarnation, see Susanne Calhoun, “The Indwelling Spirit: From Christology to Ecclesiology in John Henry Newman,” Newman Studies Journal 13, no. 1 (Spring, 2016): 51?52. “Analogously, the Spirit now descends upon, participates in, and indwells the Church, making God’s people a sacrament of his presence in the world” (51), as also teach LG §48, AG §1; see Ker, Newman on Vatican II, 125?8; Marr, To be perfect is to have changed often, 138.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 3.28?9.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 3.30.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 8.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 79.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 8.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 81.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 8.82. Newman insisted that “our membership with the spiritual body, which the Apostles founded, is something visible to fix the eyes on—it is a fact,” and he asked: “can we point to the age in former times in which the lineally descended Apostolic Church did not teach the fundamentals of faith?” Newman also stated that “His ordained ministry” is “a rallying point as well a sacred bond of union,” and concludes with a more than a symbolic declaration: “we are brethren and fellows of the Apostles” (Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 8.85).
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 5.42?54.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843, iv, 5.42?43.
 Cf. Ian Ker, “The Church as Communion,” in The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman, ed. Ian Ker and Terrence Merrigan (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2009), 146?48, 152?53.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 5.46.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 5.48.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 5.48?49.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 5.49?51; see also Ker, John Henry Newman, 704; Marr, To be Perfect is to have Changed Often, 129?49.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 5.51?52, 54.
 Newman, Tracts i (New York: AMS Press, 1969), 2.1.
 Newman, Tracts i, 2.2.
 Newman, Tracts i, 2.2–3.
 Newman, Tracts i, 11.1, 5.
 Newman, Tracts i, 11.6.
 Newman, Tracts i, 11.6, 3. While acknowledging that God “might have left Christianity as a sort of sacred literature, as contained in the Bible, which each person was to take and use by himself,” Newman maintained that God “has actually set up a Society, which exists even at this day all over the world, and which Christians are bound to join” (4–5). Having compared this visible church to “a Dispensary for medicine,” which reminds us of the “field hospital” of which Pope Francis speaks, Newman closed this tract with a list of biblical texts supporting the assertion that “there was a Visible Church in the Apostles’ day,” which, in addition to being well organized, “was intended to continue” (5, 7–8). See C. Brad Faught and Frances C. Brown, “The Oxford Movement: A Thematic History of the Tractarians and their Times,” Newman Studies Journal 2, no.1 (Spring, 2005): 90?91.
 See Ker, Newman on Vatican II, 84?106.
 Newman, PS iii, 17.240–41.
 See Ian Ker, Healing the Wound of Humanity: The Spirituality of John Henry Newman (London: Darton, Longmann and Todd, 1993), 69?70; Calhoun, “The Indwelling Spirit: From Christology to Ecclesiology in John Henry Newman,” 45?54. This author proposes an “analogy between Newman’s pneumatological Christology and his pnematological Ecclesiology” and “the Spirit filled Church” (49, 51).
 Newman, PS ii, 8.91.
 Newman, PS ii, 21.245.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 9.87, 89, 91; see also 92?97.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 10.99.
 Newman, Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 10.100?101.
 Newman, PS iii, 16.221–22.
 Sermons 1824–1843, iv, 10.103.
 Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 10.104.
 Sermons 1824–1843 iv, 10.105; see also 105?7.
 Newman, Tracts i, 7.1–2.
 Newman, Tracts i, 7.2.
 Newman, Tracts i, 7.3.
 Newman, Tracts i, 7.3.
 Newman, Tracts i, 19.1.
 Newman, Tracts i, 19.2.
 Newman, Tracts i, 19.2.
 Newman, LD v, 102?103; see Ker, John Henry Newman, 115?23, and Newman on Vatican II, 107?11, 97?127.
Pablo Blanco (PhD '97, ThD '05) has studied philology, philosophy, and theology. He has investigated aesthetics and hermeneutics, the relationships between faith and reason, the thought of Joseph Ratzinger, and the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue. Currently, he teaches at the University of Navarra.