Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

66

religious teachers.* The instances of lay. who quoted the analogy of civil government, men entering the ministry without any pre- and of princes who “ exercise dominion and vious theological training are extremely authority;" and added, “but it shall not be rare: the present writer is only acquainted SO AMONG YOU." with one instance. J: N.'s idea of education We now close our remarks. The simplidoing away with differences of opinion pro- city and unity of our plan are obvious: oor vokes a smile. No; sink men to a common arguments are drawn from principles. On level of ignorance, teach them to submit and the other hand, our opponents wander about, be governed by synods or bishops, give them reiterating mere casual objections, arguing Confessions of Faith as an epitome of Bible on grounds of worldly policy, building a truths much simpler and safer than the whole system (like an inverted cone) upon & Bible itself, and then we may expect appa. | single narrative, or miserably contending for rent unanimity. Multitudes will rally round minute distinctions between episcopi and a flag and swear by its colour, though the presbyteri. Petty verbal criticism is the better half of them cannot even read the foundation on which expediency, policy, and motto it bears. The stagnant pool may be the bankering after worldly " systems” and dark and noiseless ; but a living stream governments," so pointedly condemned by must ripple to the breeze, and sparkle in Christ, have built a Preshyterian Church of the sunbeam.

Scotland, a Free Church, a Secession Church, We can only notice one other specimen of an Episcopal Church of England, a Lutheran J. N.'s reasoning. Congregationalism,” he Church, a Moravian Church, a Greek Church, says, “is an infraction of common sense,” for and a Latin Church -as so many "middle “ each little village might with as much walls of partition” in Christ's kingdom. propriety insist upon” perfect freedom. Is A calm consideration of the spiritual nahe not aware that self-government is the ture of the worship of the Father of Lights mainspring of English freedom ? What and God of Love, and an examination of the would he think of every village grievance spirit inculcated by apostles, and manifested being carried successively to four different by Christ—a belief that Christianity is a houses of Parliament, composed of different hidden life within the soul, and not a secolar proportions of ruling elders and presbyters, organization of nominal believers,—these are in the shape of village constables and local the foundations on which, in every elime, magistrates, each House sitting as a Court Congregational Churches of Christ “stand of Review and Appeal from those below it? fast in the liberty wherewith He hath made What a fearful bureaucracy would Civil | them free.” Our opponents institute Courts Presbyterianism make! But we appeal from and Bishops, Creeds and Confessions, by J. N.'s secularism to the teachings of Christ, which to bind their members into apparent

unity: we look to Him who promised that * Of theological colleges belonging to the Iu- there should eventually be but“ one fold and dependent and Baptist Churches alone, no less than ten immediately occur to us : New College, one shepherd;" to Him who prayed, not fur London ; Western College, Plymouth ; Bristol his apostles " alone, but for them also which Stepney ; Cheshunt; Lancashire ; Airedale; Ro- should believe on him through their word

. erful mind of Bishop Butler received its bent and that they all may be one;"—We seek in Chatraining in a Dissenting academy.

rity “the bond of perfectness.”

B.S.

Politirs.

OUGHT THE UNIVERSITIES OF OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE TO BE THROWY

OPEN AS NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS FOR BRITISH SUBJECTS OF ALL RELIGIOUS OPINIONS ?

AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-II. As an individual Dissenter I could almost | raised: there is something so intolerant, and wish that this question had never been so strongly reminding one of the fable of the

dog in the manger, in the attempt to shut reedy Cam and silver Isis ; while your out Dissenters from institutions like Oxford younger born and more sinewy strength is and Cambridge, that I would rather have let reaping the rich waving harvest of the coming the rulers of the Church persist in the glory, and is writing its name in characters uncharitable deed, until very shame had of light upon the bead-rolls of the ages. brought them to a sense of degradation, and Envy not the idle affluence of Oxonian schohad led them to cry peccavi. Few persons larships, or the solemn gloom and quiet in private life were willing to defend the warmth of Cambridge fellowships; but on exclusive system; and there is every reason the mountain tops of science, or the sunlit to believe that an immense majority of plairis of literature, let knowledge be to you Churchmen desired a change.* Would it her own exceeding great reward. The subnot have been well to let them feel the fet- ject, however, has been raised in Parliament; tered condition of their church, and to have and is now placed before the readers of this led them "to sigh by reason of their bond- magazine. Parliament has decided in favour age.” The Dissenters already possessed a of Dissent. Henceforward B.A. is really to metropolitan university, which is rapidly mean Bachelor of Arts, and not of the winning its way to fame and honour;† and Thirty. nine Articles; and I now take up my which might soon be made equal in talent, pen for the purpose of maintaining the justice if not in wealth, to its ancient compeers. and morality of the decision. And in the view of this infant giant, I had F. J. L., the champion of exclusion, has rather have urged the Dissenters to set their certainly one excellent qualification for the shoulders to the wheel of progress in this post;-he can resolutely close his eyes and direction, and have said, -Let knowledge ears to facts. Mr. Mann (in the “Census doze within the mediæval piles and cloistered of Religious Worship,” for the accuracy of courts that stand upon the banks of the which Lord Palmerston lately vouched) es

timates the attendants on religious worship * Scarcely a single organ of the Church heartily in England and Wales at 7,261,032; of opposed the late Act ; many gave their unqua- whom 3,773,474 are Churchmen, and lified approval.

+ F.J. L., who certainly does his best to take 3,487,558 are Dissenters; but F.J. L., with the conceit out of us poor Dissenters, chooses to the utmost composure, informs us that Dis. run down the value of London degrees.

sent consists merely of “a few disqualified ask any reader who has the opportunity to com. pare the calendars of Oxford and Cambridge with persons." The bishops have more sensitive that of London; he will find the Matriculation ears, and therefore accuse Mr. Mann and and B. A. examinations are stricter in London the Dissenters of entering into collusion ;than in Cambridge and Oxford, -that the prizes and honours are very few, and all the degrees the one was careless about his facts and bona fide, while in Cambridge and Oxford all figures, and the others “ whipped up” large degrees but the first are honorary: Ask, an un. congregations for the occasion. Certainly, biassed physician, and he will tell you that the medical examinations of the London University

of the two, F. J. L. is the better behaved: if are the strictest in the world. Ask a lawyer the he chooses to shut his eyes and run his head worth of an Oxford legal degree as an index of against a post he has an undoubted right to legal knowledge, and he will tell you that it do so; but neither the Bishop of Oxford nor merely signifies that its owner has kept so many terms, and has been “shut up in a room, with he of Gloucester can be justified in their four bare walls for company" (see Mr. Bowyer's breach of the ninth commandment, —- in speech in the House of Commons in July last); bearing false witness against Dissenters, and and then turn to the London Calendar, and you will read, “ From candidates for the degree of maligning their characters by the gratuitous Doctor of Laws shall be required a practical pro- insinuation of dishonesty and deception. fessional knou ledge of the law of the Common

The Oxford Commissioners, in their reLaw Courts of England, and of one of the three following other branches of Positive Law port, openly declare the nationality of the and a knowledge of one of the seven following two universities in question, and the whole subjects Let F.J. L. turn to the exam

mass of the community acknowledge the ination papers for the degree of Master of Arts, and say how he relishes them: he should be a

same truth; F.J. L. even declares that the judge. Lastly, I may remind F.J. L. that this two institutions are national, in every fair very year the far-famed Wranglership of his own

and proper sense of the term.” This uniAlma Mater was carried off by a London Graduate, nor was it the first occurrence of such an

versally admitted fact being granted, the whole question lies in the compass of a nut

Now we

.

event.

shell,--the subject requires but a solitary party bonds, and to put an end to such an syllogism :-"What belongs to the nation absurd anomaly as the refusal to allow & should not be confined to a portion only: man to enter a national class-room of mathe universities belong to the nation; there- thematical learning, and there listen to the fore, the universities ought not to be confined Savilian Professor of Geometry, unless he to a portion only of the nation.”

But let us first swears to the doctrines of the Athanaexamine the question more closely, in order sian Creed. The libraries and lectures of to avoid all cavilling. We have a National Oxford and Cambridge ought to be as free Church in this country, as well as National and unsectarian as the aisles and benches of Universities. Now, what is the object of a Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's. Tell as National Church? Surely to care for the not of " prescription," and that the subscripreligious education of the people. What, tion to articles is an ancient rule. We are then, is the object of National Universities? not to be bound by all the whims of our They cannot be to teach religion, for that great-grandfathers; -we acknowledge not would be to invade the province of the the infallibility of a persecuting Laud;*Church; they can, therefore, have no other we allow not the divine right of straightobject than the secular instruction of the laced, dim-lighted antiquity to fetter down community. The Church is to further the and darken to its own level the free and cause of religion, the Universities the cause brilliant future. of science; the one must train the moral

Again, I maintain that the universities being, the other the intellect of the nation. ought to be freed from the present restricNow, to a certain extent, the Church does tions, because they are utterly useless, and fulfil her duties, and act up to her station; productive of much evil. The conscientious but the Universities fail to accomplish their Dissenter—the man of high principle and own end. The Church opens her temples to tender conscience—is shut out, and thus a all; the Dissenter may join in her minis- double injury is done; learning suffers, and trations of praise and prayer, and may listen her would-be devotees are wronged. On the to the instructions her pulpits afford, when other hand, the worthless—and the still ever he chooses, and without in any way larger class, the thoughtless—will sign articompromising his own opinions, or assenting cles, and profess creeds, without attaching to her doctrines: of course she is not to the least weight to them; their own moral blame if he eventually rejects her creed, and sensibility will become dulled; the solemnity absents himself from her worship; she has of the act will be forgotten by the latter, acted her part, and the only question that can and perjury will brand the souls of the arise is, whether a State Church is in bar- former. Thus these restrictions fail of their mony with the scripture, and conducive to the end; they must keep out many of the highnational welfare? The Universities, however, est moral excellence-they tend to bring take an opposite course; they refuse to im- religion in disrepute, and to make it the part secular training until the student has subject of passing jest—and they do not signed articles of divinity! We might as oppose the slightest obstacle to the entrance reasonably expect to be called upon to sign of the unprincipled and the vicious. Eren an abjuration of republicanism, or to express in regard to the interests of the Church,our disbelief in homeopathy or astrology who is the better companion for her future before being allowed to enter Westminster ministers, the conscientious and religious Abbey, as suppose that a belief in certain who differ in some respects from the Estabdoctrines of theology was to decide a man's lished creed, or the unblushing devotee of right to instruction in the differential cal- vice, the thoughtless idler, and the jesuitical culus. The law of the land declares the prevaricator? I do not mean to cast any right of every man to enter his parish church, reflection on the universities, nor to be unchaand listen to the vicar's sermon, if there be ritable. I know that there is no rank in room for him; surely it has an equal right life, no sect however strict, no calling howto open the universities to every man able and willing to pay the necessary expenses. If the universities are national property, subscription at Oxford, and modelled the Univer

* It was this infamous bigot who introduced Parliament is bound to see them freed from sity into its present shape.

ever sacred, but what is defiled and degraded F. J.L.--"The Voluntary system has proved by human vice and human frailty; but I utterly inefficient”! maintain that the restrictions of Oxford and The arguments on "prescriptive usage" Cambridge tend to increase these natural amount to nothing. Prescription must date evils. The Infidel would feel justified in back to the time of Richard I. by the rules entering the colleges, unless possessed of a of common law; whereas the universities remarkably fine sense of morality,--the pious have only been held by the present Church Nonconformist dare not put his hand to a of England for about 300 years. Moreover, faith he cannot hold.

the exclusion of Dissenters only dates from The article of F. J. L. can scarcely be the time of Laud; so that as a custom it is said to touch the real subject at issue. In invalid;—as a statute confirmed by Parliap. 302 he argues, with his usual ignorance ment it is now subject to be abolished by or hatred of facts, that the Voluntary sys- Parliament. tem is inefficient. Now, in the fifty years, Lastly, F. J. L. informs us that the chief 1801-51, there were built 2,529 churches, endowments are of late date.

Does he supat a cost of £9,078,000, of which Govern pose that those who founded chairs of botany ment contributed £1,663,429, and private and medicine, at a time when Dissenters benevolence £7,423,571 ; other words, were few in number, ever contemplated conwithin the pale of the Church itself the fining their pet sciences to the Church of Voluntary system is four and a half times as England, when it had lost its hold on the efficient as State aid. Again,

the same

nation? These endowments were given to period of time, 16,689 chapels have been the universities as national schools—the opened by Dissenters; estimating the cost at only seats of learning in those days. Surely, about £900 each (and curious places they | if the theology of Edward VI. is to be would be, if they cost no more), we have an | taught to the student of natural philosophy, outlay of nearly £15,000,000. Adding to because the founder of the chair believed in this sum the £7,423,571 raised in the it, we ought to banish Bacon and reinstate Church, we find that the Voluntary system Aristotle, forbid chemistry and reintroduce is above thirteen-fold as efficient as the State alchemy. If the philosophy may be changed, system. These figures from the late Census surely the interference with individual belief may form a commentary on the words of I may be made to cease.

B. S. NEGATIVE ARTICLE.-II. We have read with considerable interest, Previous to this, however, it may be well mingled with some surprise, the opening just to notice the singular tactics and bad articles on the question of the admittance of generalship which“ Rolla” has exhibited. He Dissenters into our Universities. The argu- takes particular care, and shows the utmost ments which have been advanced on the anxiety, deeply to impress on our minds the negative are certainly very good, and we fact that he is “ an inveterate foe to all shall be curious to see the answers which State-churchism, as well as to priestcraft they no doubt will produce; but as to those and injustice of every kind.” Now we canon the affirmative, they have excited in us not imagine what object he could have had considerable pity, not through any feelings of in doing this, except to excite the prejudices self-esteem or imagining that we could rea- of those members of the Established Church son more successfully, but that a rational who may chance to read his article, and thus, person like “Rolla” should base views of such at one blow, check any feeling they might enimportance and influence, on foundations so tertain in favour of his party. This method of insecure and shallow. Now, to avoid making declaring his views is as worthy as perhaps this assertion seem to our opponent as the principles themselves are in the estimagroundless, as his does to us, we shall enter tion of Dissenters. But both are rejected by into an analysis of the statements which be the Church of England. She neither endeahas made, and endeavour, with truthfulness vours to kindle enmity nor arouse discontent and impartiality, to lay clearly before him, against herself, nor has she such sentiments and those who have adopted similar opinions, of acrimonious hatred against those, who, the fallacies of which he is guilty.

while they differ in a few forms and outward

rites, agree with her in all the grand truths being, morality, and religious state of all of Christianity,—thus nobly exhibiting a such communities. No doubt “Rolla” and marked distinction between herself and that his partizans would rejoice at such an spirit of intolerant opposition to liberty which acknowledgment. Then, indeed, they would “Rolla” (and in bim, alas! a considerable have a plausible reason for proclaiming number of Dissenters) has so deliberately hostility to the Church of England. Then announced, and so fiercely displayed. they might make their whispers about the

We are informed at the outset of “Rolla's” inutility of her forms, and of her governarticle (in an unfinished sentence, by the ment. But such a time has not yet come. way!) that no one can gainsay the fact that The Established Church has better securities Dissenters are at present excluded from the than these. She does not look for soldiers universities. To this we are happy to give to the ranks of dissent and puritanism. No! our cordial and entire assent. But that they she turns to her universities—those fortare thrown open to the “minions of aris- resses of Christianity - and from thence tocracy” is an exaggeration which those recruits her armies with men zealous for her who see double are often liable to commit. rights, her doctrines, and her system of order We know of persons who have been and still and discipline. are students there, who certainly do not belong In addition to “Rolla's” wonderful thesis, to this imaginary class, and no doubt many he has given us a few particular arguments, of our readers could say the same. Our op- by way of support to the latter of them. ponent, however, being excluded, is probably These arguments he has divided into three not very accurately acquainted with the state parts, which we shall consider in his own of affairs there; and consequently we will do order: - 1st. The universities would be him the kindness of not attaching too much greatly reformed by a general opening to all weight to his assertion, but rather attribute religious sects. The reason for this is, that it to his creative powers and poetic fire, as they would be exposed to the public eye, and we have also to do in the case of the following be influenced by Dissenters. After this, we proposition, that the members of the univer- need scarcely add, comes a choice collection sities, as a class, are men of “infidel of abuses, said to be at present existing in opinions;" for it is a well known fact they our universities, all singled out with the are not infidels, but Christians, at least by utmost care and attention. Now, if “Rolla" profession, and therefore as much as any really knows as much of the universities as man can be a judge of. No doubt, the he pretends to do, surely they could not be younger students do not, as a whole, possess better known than they are. Certainly their the strictest morality; and no such body of condition could be little worse than he deyoung men can claim this; but did they scribes it, and the only advantage, therefore, acquire this laxity of principle from the uni- that he could derive by having them made versities? Surely not. They have merely more public would be, that it might be seen brought there that which they have else that the colours with which he had painted where acquired. The universities do all his picture were too bright, and required a they can under the present system to re- considerable amount of softening before they strain and direct them into the path of duty, approach to the reality. The same remark and therefore we are compelled to deny un- will apply to his next statement—that "the reservedly the propositions which “ Rolla" universities would become real national benehas so dogmatically laid down, and of course fits, inasmuch as they would then be restored the two following deductions which he has to their primitive design." Surely, there is drawn from them:- 1st, That the exclusion no vis consequentia in this. For what was of Dissenters is productive of enormous evil; their primitive design? Was it to teach 2nd, That their admission would be produc- everything but religion and theology? If tive of enormous good.

so, then they would have ceased to be aniWere we to grant these assumptions, we versities. And if religion was to be tanght, should be at the same time conceding that was it in the dissenting form? Clearly Dissenters are necessary to the well-being, not, for they were erected by those who bemorality, and religious state of our universi- longed to the church established at that time ties; and, on the same principle, to the well- | in England (i. e., either the Church of Rome

« AnteriorContinuar »