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indirect, but not the less powerful, influence in enlarging and strengthening the moral faculty; for that which has indeed for its direct object moral improvement, but is apt, by a strong and necessary under-current of action, to narrow and distort that very por, tion of man's nature it is intended to improve. The study of Ethical philosophy may be admirably adapted to harmonize the general education of the mind; to recall it to itself—its own duties and constitution from too wide a wandering over the far more attractive fields of external truth. But to have this effect, it must be administered as a corrective only. To make it practically the leadiny discipline, and render others dependent on it, is mental ruin. It is in itself a study fraught with danger; it throws the mind back on itself, fills it with an engrossing, and perhaps morbid, habit of self-analysis; and eventually, and not very indirectly, of self-worship. But independently of this, teach it as you will, it must be taught on a system. That system must rest on arbitrary axioms—axioms which can neither be proved nor are selfevident—axioms in the defence of which the feelings must in the first place be enlisted. But he whose heart and faculties are wrapt up in attachment to a system-be that system truth itselfinevitably comes to love it and defend it, not because it is truth, but because it is his system. This is the danger which besets even the learner of abstract knowledge; how infinitely more him who pursues studies in which the conclusions are practical, and in which to err is to incur moral danger! And how much the peril is increased, when philosophy is carefully enrolled in support of a theological scheme involved, as it were, in the quarrels of dogmatic theology–in the strife which swells every heart, and lends bitterness to every tongue, in the little world which surrounds the pupil ;—when, in the language of an able Oxford writer, the Church is made to fix the true point of view from • which all other truths may be seen in their real forms and pro

portions!' But from the moment that truth, as such, and irrespectively of particular ends, ceases to be the main object proposed to the mind in tuition, farewell to honesty, openness, and independence of character. For truly, though severely, was it said, by one, too, who has had no slight share in fashioning the popular philosophy of the present day, that he who loves Christianity better than truth, will soon love his own sect better than Christianity, and end by loving himself better than either.

Again, in teaching reverence for the distant past, those whose views we are at present considering have thought themselves justified in using a tone of great bitterness-great scorn—we must add of great self-exaltation, in speaking of the present and the immediate past. They have thought it their duty to hold up the

opinions and sentiments of the ages immediately preceding our own, and of by far the greater part of the world at the present day, to utter contempt; to show the futility of the objects most valued, the worthlessness of the knowledge most esteemed. This they scarcely could do, without affording infinite encouragement to that worst kind of vanity, the thinking ourselves wise above those around us ;-a far greater temptation, as Dr Arnold himself has acutely remarked, than that of undervaluing those who have lived before us.

Our personal superiority seems much more ad• vanced by decrying our contemporaries, than by decrying our • fathers. The dead are not our real rivals; nor is pride very

much gratified by asserting a superiority over those who cannot . deny it. It is far more tempting to personal vanity to think • ourselves the only wise amongst a generation of fools, than to

glory in belonging to a wise generation, where our personal • wisdom, be it what it may, cannot at least have the distinction of singularity. The influence of the prejudices thus excited on the moral character is bad enough ; but on intellectual progress it is destruction. The fruits of the recent fashion of decrying mere scientific pursuits, or mere literary studies, as unworthy, frivolous, or dangerous, are terribly apparent in the present condition of Oxford. Here, at least, we shall scarcely meet with a contradiction. The gradual desertion of the lecture rooms, in which knowledge not absolutely connected with University discipline is imparted, is notorious. The utter absence of all spirit for investigation of every sort, except in polemic theology and one or two inferior pursuits of taste, is the subject, even there, of general lamentation. Natural Philosophy, indeed, while disregarded by all, is absolutely discountenanced by many, from similar reasons to that which the late King of Naples was wont to give for refusing grants of money to unroll the Herculanean manuscripts ;---namely, that something might be discovered therein which would overturn the Christian religion, and then his Majesty would never get absolution. Historical study seems altogether at an end, except in the single province of ecclesiastical antiquities : indeed, as we have seen it ingeniously remarked by a writer of the Oxford school, all history is dangerous, and ought to be rewritten on Church principles. Nay, the very special studies of under-graduates are no longer pursued with the spirit and zeal of former times: classical scholarship is declining.

We saw it stated the other day, in a Journal favourable to the present • movement,' that the art of prose Latin composition is absolutely lost at Oxford. To borrow again the forcible language of Dr Arnold The two great parties of the Christian world have • each their own standard of truth by which they try all things

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Scripture on the one hand; the voice of the Church on the other. To both, therefore, the pure intellectual movement is not only ' unwelcome, but they dislike it. It will question what they will

not allow to be questioned: it may arrive at conclusions which • they would regard as impious. And therefore in an age' (or seat) of religious movement particularly, the spirit of intellec'tual movement soon finds itself proscribed rather than counte• nanced.'

Thus much, at least, is matter of general observation, that while the loss is certain, the gain in higher respects is worse than questionable ; that much has been lost, along with knowledge itselt, of the habits of mind which attend an ardent pursuit of knowledge of manly candour, of extended sympathies, of that generous, frank enthusiasm so graceful in the young; that a captious, close, exclusive spirit, is apt to grow on the mind, under the discipline and associations now prevailing-producing in vigorous natures a concentrated heat, instead of an expansive warmth: this is complained of, we know not how justly, but seems to follow as a not unnatural consequence. For this, and much more, Oxford has to thank the peculiar exertions of the ablest and most active among her present teachers, and the success which has attended them.

It is true that they are awake now. Of course it is not to be supposed that men of really superior minds, such as many of those of whom we speak, can be content in observing the decay of knowledge around them; or the loss of interest in those pursuits to which the youthful disposition should seem adapted. It appears to be the very earnest endeavour of many of them, to keep the minds of those under actual pupilage as far as possible unpolluted by that black and bitter Styx of controversy which envelopes the region. But this is utterly impossible, unless they could influence also--which in this direction they cannot-the minds and studies of that body of which the condition forms by far the best test of the state of education at our universities. We mean those who have passed their short academical course, but are still detained by various duties or circumstances; young themselves, although, for the most part, instructors of those still younger- for they form the class which gives the tone to the studious part of those under discipline. So long as theological controversy forms the great excitement and interest of their lives, so long it will exercise its miserable influence on the education in which they assist. However honestly disposed, the tutor whose head is in a whirl with the religious battles of Convocation, cannot get up among his pupils much enthusiasm about the Punic or Peloponnesian war.

Where his mind mechanically leads, theirs will follow. Nor will the tone of society, out of academical hours, assist in supplying the stimulus of better and more vigorous speculation; for society at Oxford—that is, the society of the intelligent and active part of its denizens—is become dead and spiritless-paralyzed from the dread which prevails of giving mutual offence. Men stand carefully aloof from free intercourse with each other on questions which excite them, and the place supplies no topics of neutral and harmless interest. Add to this, the thousand temptations to take sides, to enlist in parties-the sad want of importance of those, old or young, who in agitated societies keep aloof from agitation. Talent, enthusiasm, self-importance, eccentricity, all take one and the same direction ;--the able are easily drawn in by the desire to shine; and fools, because they have an instinctive consciousness that in no other way can a fool become a man of consequence.

It is needless to dwell on the influence which this combination of deteriorating causes may have on the prospects of the rising generation. Va diebus nostris, exclaimed the old chronicler, who in his barbarous age saw and felt the moral darkness extending itself, along with the decline of that culture, of which, in these enlightened times, some men seem to fancy that we have a. surfeit - diebus nostris, quia periit studium litterarum a nobis! We know full well the elements of greatness which exist at Oxford. They need no other proof than the extraordinary influence which has proceeded from thence for the last ten years for good or for evil. We know, too, that with all the degrading effects of its present conaition on its usefulness as a place of instruction, the very violence of its controversies has not been without direct intellectual influence, in awakening and pointing the energies of dispositions of a peculiar order. But what the general class of minds which its present system produces need above all things, is a stimulus to a more natural and more independent action.

This is precisely what talents like those of Dr Arnold were fitted to give; and it is in this respect that his loss is nothing less than a national calamity. Both his virtues, lofty as they were, and his talents were of an eminently practical order; nor were his very peculiarities without their usefulness. If he had been a severer analyst than he was—a man of judgment more free from the impulses of the affections—a man less solicitous about the polemics of his day-more patient in investigation, and less ready to grasp at obvious solutions of difficulties-in one word, less of a theorist; he might have been greater as a literary man; but he could scarcely have possessed, along with these faculties, his own distinctive excellence. His mode of action, in his university sphere, as his lectures prove, would have been, not to endeavour forcibly to tear away his audience from their accustomed associations, and make at once of young theologians and moralists a new race of impartial enquirers ; but to bring them to the study of the past, as it were, through the

present; to appeal to their acquired sympathies, to argue with their prejudices; to lead them thus gradually, and by the very means of the tendencies and propensities he found in them, into purer and freer fields of enquiry than those in which they were accustomed to expatiate. We are far from estimating his prospects of ultimate success by the popularity which attended his first appearance in his professional character. The extraordinary concourse of hearers which greeted him, was partly a homage to his high character; partly attracted by a certain fashion which his name had acquired from various incidental circumstances. Such popularity he neither coveted nor invited; for no one could be more entirely free from affectation and vanity-qualities belonging to minds of a very inferior order to his. But it afforded him an advantage at the outset, which his singular powers of illustration and discursive eloquence—his art of rendering attractive every subject he touched—would have amply qualified him to sustain. Short, indeed, was the period allotted to him, and barely sufficient even thus to indicate the road which he would have pursued. We have a high respect for the character and abilities of the gentleman who has succeeded him; and rejoice to find that Sir Robert Peel, in this instance as in some others, has exhibited predilections in accordance with those of the liberal body of his countrymen; but all the distinguished ranks out of which the Minister had to make his selection, could not have afforded the equal of him who is departed, for the present emergency

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