« AnteriorContinuar »
preme sense which transcends even the gressing and developing around it, religious highest angelic intelligences, and is known to truth alone has been stagnant, if not retro. the Lord alone. It is a veritable “ Jacob's grade. Like Lazarus of old, religion has ladder," whose base rests upon the earth, been consigned to the cold grave of formaland whose summit ascends through the hea- ity. But He who is ever the Redeemer of vens to the Lord himself,“ whose glory is religion-of whom the Scriptures throughabove all the heavens," while “the angels of out “testify" -- who is himself the Word, God ascend and descend” thereon. Can, and the true object of Christian worshipthen, any merely human coinposition, how- has issued his fiat—"Lazarus, come forth!" ever wise and erudite, lay claim to any of and revived religion now stands “bound hand these distinguishing attributes of the word and foot,” in the “grave clothes" of creeds, of God? Can any creed, however orthodox, “ his face bound about with the napkin" of be more than a human commentary on that superstition; but the additional command word? We opine not. We are far from has been given to “ Loose him, and let him despising human commentaries on the Scrip. go!” and we look forward anxiously yet tures. We hold them to be useful in their confidently to the day when religion will day and generation, and we trust that we stand free from the confinements and reshave been benefited by them in our endea- traints wherewith it has been invested by vours to attain to a higher understanding of human error and presumption. Our Lord the Word. But let us not convert that which has said—“The truth shall make you free." has served for our elevation into a cage—a We regard, therefore, every accession of reprison for the minds of future generations, ligious freedom as an advance in truth, since by erecting views and tenets which have freedom is an essential attribute of truth, recommended themselves to our judgment and an element without which it never into a final and absolute creed, and thus flourishes. The consummation which the chaining the perceptions of our posterity affirmation of the present question desider(capable, it may be, in virtue of higher at- ates is most important, since its achievement tainments in spiritual things, of taking higher would result, not in a merely negative beneviews of moral truth) down to the compara- fit-the simple removal of a restraint, but tively narrow limits of our own experience. it would open the door of a treasure house, Creeds, we confidently assert it, have been the contents and consequent benefits of which the bane of religion in all ages. For while would in due time be imparted to the whole truth of every other degree has been pro- community.
BENJAMIN. NEGATIVE ARTICLE.-11I. “ Remove not the ancient landmarks which
we willingly admit him to be so; he may be thy fathers have set."-Prov. xxii. 28. “ Render unto Cæsar the things which are service both to God and man, by thos
conscientious, and believe that he is doing Cæsar's."-MARK xii. 17.
breathing out fire and slaughter" against We have read the two opening articles of what he deems to be error; and we are conthis debate with considerable pain, and the vinced that he is so; but let us beseech him succeeding articles with much pleasure. to restrain his excess of zeal, and persuade F. J. L. and “Rolla” bave met too much him to adopt a gentler tone,—to practise the like implacable foes; in the words of the soft answer which turneth away wrath. former there dwells all that unbending spirit Gentle pleading may lead and persuade, and which provoked the passions and fierce ex- must result in the interchange of kindliness citement of bygone days; while the pages of and good-will: argument may convince and the latter seem almost to writhe and hiss convert, and must result in mutual esteem eneath our eyes with excess of wrath. No and respect between those who in all knightly man who held the opinions and uttered the valour and chivalric honour have met within invective of “ Rolla" could have done other the bloodless lists; but invective poured forth wise than uproot, destroy, and persecute in torrents can neither convince nor persuade. every trace and every supporter of English neither raise esteem nor engender kindness; Episcopacy, if he had chanced to live in a it will only cause sorrow to the gentle, and congenial age. “ Rolla” may be honest, and estrange the kind, will alienate the generous,
and wake the demons of enmity and revenge | versities, or to be uncharitable.” We have in the breasts of the passionate.
heard it said that "half the truth is a false. It would be an interesting experiment in hood," and we fear the remark receives an psychology to try the effect which the articles unintentional proof and illustration from of F.J. L. and “Rolla" would have upon an “Rolla.” Alas! that writers should so forget intelligent foreigner, totally unacquainted that the garments of charity are better than with our national institutions! What inter- the cloak of zeal, and should so frequently nal evidence would he discover, which would let prejudice usurp the seat of reason, till lead him to believe the one rather than the they strain at a gnat as though it were a other? Could he conceive the possibility of camel, and swallow a camel as though it our university towns being mere sinks of were a gnat. iniquity, as painted by “ Rolla," and yet the Readers, when you meditate on the senpure seminaries of a “National Church based tence we have already quoted from “Rolla," on essentially scriptural and catholic prin- remember that Milton studied within our uniciples," as described by F. J. L.? Could he versities, and that Wordsworth has enshrined believe that “ vast masses of the true Com- his gratitude to Oxford in “harmonious monwealth of our land
--a number daily verse;" remember that Gladstone carried off increasing - a number that can boast of the honours of Christchurch that Peel the greatest poets, authors, statesmen, and ranked high at Oxford ; remember that Newgeniuses,” are debarred (as “Rolla" avers) ton graduated at Cambridge -that Herschel from these universities, and reconcile the carried off its wranglership — that Airey, statement with the assertion of F.J. L. that Buckland, Sedgwick, Babbage, and Whewell, “ simply a few disqualified persons are ex- are sons of our universities; remember that cluded?” How can he dovetail together all Sir Edward Coke was educated at Camthese and many similar contradictions ?- bridge, and Sir Matthew Hale at Oxford with whom will he sympathize? with that not one of the long list of judicial “Rolla,” in his fierce onslaught on the moral greatness but commenced his career of precharacter and mental attainments of Oxford paration in the universities; remember the and Cambridge, or with F.J. L., in his praise many almost sacred names of holy men who of the degrees and scholarship of Church- have ministered in the Church, and even men, and his undisguised contempt for the among Dissenters, but who first studied in
cheap education" of Dissenters?.“ Rolla" the universities. has seen Oxford, and F.J. L. has been for the Again, what shall we say to such language last four years an inmate of Trinity College, as the following ?-"While every true DisCambridge, and within a few short months has senter is cut off from these so-called national been decked with the mystic letters " B.A.” institutions ... there may be found within “ Surely," our imaginary foreigner would their precincts men of all religious and inexclaim, “it is the editors of the magazine fidel principles; the sceptic, the atheist to who are in fault; they have injudiciously all intents and purposes, the Puseyite, the coupled the two universities together, and Calvinist, the Arminian, &c., &c.; and, hence each writer mistook the subject: doubt- horribile dictu, men of the vilest morals, the less F.J. L. would admit the wickedness and gambler, the foxhunter, the legion of deworthlessness of Oxford; and “Rolla” will bauchery, the profane and dishonest!” Is have never a word to say against Cam- not this a coarse picture of human nature in bridge." But happily for the credit of our its worse aspects of a small minority in the editors, a glance at the articles of H. D. L. history of every institution? Has there not and B. S. will explain the difficulty in an- been a murderer amongst the peaceful Quaother manner. The former writer, with kers? Have not the annals of the Dissentmanly candour, admits that the institutions ing ministry to record the shameful deeds of are not perfect, and that some of their in- the drunkard, the suicide, and the adulterer? mates are not men of the “strictest moral. Nay, had not the primitive Church its Anaity;" and the latter, with the generosity nias and Sapphira :--did not Christ himself becoming one who has earned a foremost choose twelve, and yet one of them was " a place amidst our band of controversialists, devil"? What does “Rolla" mean? Are refuses“ to cast any reflection on the uni- , there no atheists and sceptics except university men ? Does no Dissenter ever gamble? | B.S.; for not few are they who have suffered -does the legion of debauchery gain no signal discomfiture at his hands; and were recruits beyond the walls of Oxford col- we obliged to meet the foe face to face, we leges ?-is being Puseyite, Calvinist, or might probably decline the combat. But we Arminian a deadly sin against history or imagine that our friend has entrenched himscience ?-does the fact of having joined a self above a hidden mine, and we hope, by fox-hunt disqualify a man for ever for the springing the same, to destroy bis forces and study of Greek or of mathematics? Are fortifications without the danger of personal the inuendoes about Oxford streets by night combat. B. S. has proceeded to argue on the untrue of London? Is the Fifth of Novem- principle that the universities are national ber a quiet night on Tower Hill? Are public institutions; if that assumption be German students, in their free and conse- found to be groundless, his article immediately quently irreligious colleges, innocent even of falls. The idea is, I regret to say, fosbloodshed and rebellion? Have the walls tered and countenanced by the Church; of Edinburgh University never been besieged hence Dissenters generally maintain that the by the civil power, and defended by a mob universities are national, civil, and secular of desperate students? Are the students of educational machines, which have been reour medical institutions famed for high moral stricted and diverted from their proper end character, with the solitary exception of the by clerical machinations. Now to this we M.D.'s of Cambridge and Oxford? O friend oppose the assertion that the universities “Rolla”! if all springs of generous forbear- are trust property—the private possessions ance have been dried up-if all remembrance of the Church of England, not as a State of Him who said, “He that is without sin Church, but as a religious denomination, among you, let him cast the first stone,” has and that they stand in the same relation to faded from your mind; yet think of the com- the Church as New College does to the Indemon civilities and ordinary courtesy of social pendents, and Stonyhurst to the Roman life.
Catholics. This opinion is based upon careWe have one more remark to make, and ful research and study of the history and then we part, in sorrow not in anger, from origin of these ancient institutions; and, in “ Rolla." Suppose all his assertions be al consequence, we have felt bound, in conlowed, and that the inmates of our universi- formity with those precepts of Jewish morality ties are condemned as the dregs of humanity; and Christian duty placed at the head of this it yet remains to be shown why their pro- article, to enter in the pages of the Controperty should be taken from them. Have I versialist a protest against parliamentary a right to enter my neighbour's shop, and interference. share its profits, because he neglects or According to certain authors, this island abuses it, and often becomes intoxicated at was colonized by a son of Japheth, the son noon-day? May I confiscate my brother's of Noah, exactly two hundred years after the farmsteads, because he leads a grossly im- flood. In like manner, we are told that moral life; or seize upon his railway shares, Brutus, the grandson of Æneas, came over because he is an atheist. “Rolla” has as- with an army of Trojans, conquered the serted the nationality of the universities, but country, and, being struck with the advanhas forgotten to prove it; he denies the tages of education, founded the University nationality of the Church, because he hates of Oxford, in the twelfth century before its regimen, and disbelieves its doctrine: Christ, while Eli was high-priest of the how can he honestly maintain the nationality Jews. We are not informed whether“ mornof the universities, simply because he would ing chapel,” and caps and gowns, were a part wish to share in their advantages ? Is such of the then customs; we have no particulars reasoning worthy of him?
of the dinners in hall, or the wine parties in We think that the foregoing remarks, the evening; and are left quite in the dark coupled with the remarkably able reply of as to the text-books and subjects of study. Of H. D. L., completely annihilate “Rolla's” course, it is quite evident that Cæsar's account article; we therefore proceed to one of a far of certain shaggy, painted, and half-naked different character. We naturally hesitate savages, armed with clubs, and subsisting on to attack an article bearing the signature the produce of the chase, or the acorns and
berries of the forest, is a mere ebullition of the students might be saved from extortion spite.
Oxford was then in its primitive or want, and might be under religious superglory: Dissenters were freely admitted into vision and control. University College, Oxits class-rooms; and no signs of its pre- ford, the oldest educational foundation in the sent mental stagnation and moral degra- kingdom, was endowed by an Archdeacon of dation appeared looming in the future: the Durham, in 1280; and with the one excepancient Britons were gentlemen both in tion of Trinity College, Cambridge, every mind and manners. Readers, will you be college in the two ancient universities has lieve these visionary tales? They are as been built by members of the National Church, true and as circumstantial as those of the either during its communion with, or since revival of Cambridge by Sebert, King of its separation from, the Papal See. The Rethe East Angles, and the re-modelling of formation was not the establishment of a new Oxford by Alfred. Away with all such church, but an internal revolution of the follies!
ancient Church of England. There was no Perhaps none of the antiquarian figments transfer of church property, no change even mentioned have gained much credence, ex- in the dignitaries of the Church, at that cept that which attributes the foundation of eventful period. Cranmer was Archbishop Oxford to Alfred; and it is only a specimen of Canterbury, and had shown his tendency of the genus of “vulgar errors.” It is to reform by marrying the daughter of an handed from writer to writer, and re-echoed eminent German Protestant divine, before by peer and peasant, by young and old. It Henry quarrelled with the Pope; and he reis, however, without any rational proof. Mr. mained in the same post when Edward the Malden, in his work on universities, desig Sixth was casting out the remnants of popish nates it a “ vulgar tradition.” Mr. Hallam, doctrine. The Reformation was simply a in his latest work (“ The Literature of throwing off of the Romish yoke of usurpaEurope," vol. i., p. 21) declares it unworthy tion,-a migration of the National Church, of credit. Mr. Ferguson declares that the with all its effects, from the Pope's Head to opinion is “now generally abandoned;" and the King's Arms. It was a change analoMr. Chalmers (“ History of Oxford,” p. 11) gous to that which placed Bacon in the room maintains that Alfred had really no share of Aristotle in the class-rooms of Oxford. whatever in the foundation of Oxford. When B. S. quotes the latter change as
The earliest trace of Oxford as a seat of justifying the admission of Dissenters, he learning occurs in the reign of William the ought to have remembered that it was volunConqueror. Ingulfus, Abbot of Croyland tary and internal; there was no act of parin that reign, tells us that he received his liament to compel and to force the new education partly at Westminster and partly philosophy into the colleges. The true at Oxford. These two places were the seats analogy to the interference which B. S. of monastic establishments—in those days advocates would be to bring into Parliament the only depositaries of learning. Relieved a bill to compel" the Savilian Professor of from earthly cares, and debarred from the Geometry” to use and adopt no text-book prevalent modes of passing the time, the but Colonel Thompson's “ Geometry without monks must of necessity have become stu- Axioms;” or to make Dr. Whewell teach the dents; and it is to them, doubtless, that we doctrine of a plurality of worlds in opposition owe the preservation of the lamp of know- to his own convictions. Philosophers are ledge, whose feeble beams were well nigh divided as to whether the Newtonian or the quenched in the convulsions consequent on undulatory theory of optics be true; then the downfall of the Roman empire. The why not compel the university to teach both colleges of our universities are the result of or to refrain from teaching either? What is the free schools attached to the religious good in religion is not less so in science. houses of early days. The “University” was We hope that we have said sufficient to the corporate body of teachers--those who show that Oxford and Cambridge were, in had obtained the title of Doctor (teacher) or their origin, private institutions belonging Master ; the “ Colleges” were the private to the Church; and we have pointed out that lodgings of the students, built by benevolent the Reformation produced no change in this men, and endowed by them, in order that respect. Since there has been no subsequent
alienation of these institutions from the he will then admit (in the words of the lastChurch, the position which we previously named author) that, “ The colleges in both laid down is now proved: the Dissenter has universities (with perhaps one exception) no more right to enter the universities than are strictly private foundations.” Thus is he has to hold religious services in Canter- our mine sprung; and our friend B. S. is left bury Cathedral, or to possess himself of any defenceless -- hiš tower wherein he trusted is given number of churches built for those who fallen, is fallen. And more than this, the hold the doctrines of the Establishment. ruins of our foeman's castle are a rampart to Private property ought to be inviolable and ourselves; for surely none will maintain the sacred. If any reader still wavers in opinion, justice of parliamentary interference with let him consult Dyer's “ History of Cam- private property.“ Propriété, c'est le vol." bridge;" Chalmers's “ History of Oxford;” is not the motto of a " British Controverand Malden's.“ Origin of Universities;” and sialist.”
JUSTICE. AFFIRMATIVE ARTICLE.-IV. THE man of science enjoys a striking pants; the chimneys smoke, and the wind advantage over the social reformer; he blows in at chinks and crannies without seldom injures either himself or others by number; many a wall is sapped by damp, erroneous speculation or mistaken views, and many a beam is mouldering away and and his very failures become beacons to guide marking the lapse of ages by the everall future inquirers. The philosopher has thickening dust into which it crumbles. no weary steps to retrace before he can Yet, after all, we cannot even entertain the enter on the right path; he need never thought of leaving the old mansion-house of stop to unbuild what he has built, but may our fathers; we are bound to it by innumerat any moment, and at any point of his able ties; the memories of the past gild the career, start entirely de novo—may leave old walls with an untold glorythe Babels which he has sought to build on high to crumble away beneath the silent
“ A light that never was on land or shore," touch of Time, while he is raising a nobler and which never can be transferred. It is edifice on safer foundations. The politician, true that we might carry many of our househowever, is far otherwise circumstanced. hold gods with us to a new habitation, but Society is like a ship upon the ocean; it is it could only be as curiosities for the museum; an ark of safety against the raging storms shorn of nearly all their interest, they would of barbarism and anarchy, and if we occa- be like the fac-similes of an autograph, the sionally discover
same in outward semblance, but, alas! bereft “A rib of dry-rot in the ship's stout side,"
of all that touches the heart or thrills the
soul. We could then no longer point to the we are compelled to act very cautiously as actual handiwork of Alfred or of Cromwell,
" with heart of oak replace it;" the catch the very echoes of Sbakspere's voice, worthless plank must be carefully cut away, and trace the imprints of Milton's mighty piece by piece, lest, by our haste, the wares mind, in the way we now can do. However rush in and imperil our safety. Or, to change our present Hall of Freedom may differ from the metaphor, society is “a house of many the designs of those who met at Runnymede, mansions,” in which an appointed place is we can still see the foundation-stone which prepared for every class of the community, they shaped and laid—the Magna Charta; and which, alas! has its noisome cellars and it is untouched by time or violence, and the miserable garrets, its rickety stairs ard highest point of that vaulted roof of grandeur, gloomy passages, as well as its halls of the key stone of that heavenward pointing grandeur and hearths of comfort. In this arch-Britain's freedom--springs from and old English house of ours we are sadly rests upon that wondrous corner stone. Reannoyed with all the inconveniences of a move it from its place, and its interest would rambling old house, built “far in the flight be gone. The feelings which I have thus of ages past," and enlarged, altered, patched, attempted to describe are natural to humanand adorned according to the taste or neces- ity: our American brethren who, so to speak, sities of many successive generations of occu- have built a modern hotel for themselves,