Изображения страниц

teaching, had the duty of study, and the associations of the examining their pupils and place, which may be of the highest the privilege of conferring degrees, value. It is not of this, however, under distinct statutes. The uni. that we propose to speak, but of versities became important insti- those who do more than merely tutions holding a monopoly of satisfy an examiner, those from public instruction. Instead of whom are drawn the members that consisting of a few compara

constitute the strength and pertively isolated and transitory manence of a university, and distinlecturers of distinction, each uni- guish it from a school. A large versity established a continuity, number of these are held to the maintained by resident professors bosom of their kind mother by and graduates. With such a de- offices, fellowships, tradition, velopment and the increase of their sympathy, esprit. wealth, there came to the univer- A body of elect, drawn by sities increase of power and adequate intellectual tests from the permanence, but subject to the body of the nation; proved in accompaniment of lack of spon- character, known to one another, taneity, for “it is the professor strengthened by the support of and not the charter which really their fellows, dowered at will with makes the university.” And the all that is to be known, held back Popes stepped in, claiming to by their own historic tradition recognise, sanction, and regulate from “raw haste;" trained to these growing institutions, giving wait wisdom’s bloom, rather than in exchange for the power yielded run to seed or grow to weed, withto them, an authority throughout drawn from the meaner fret of the Christendom to the degrees granted world, with leisure to contemplate by each separate university, which its larger issues; such are the might otherwise have conferred, members that partake of the enat least for a long period, only a dowments of the ideal university : local prestige.

What do they for us ? As circumstances are, the univer- What have they to do but act sity has other functions than the as schoolmasters of a superior school;

it might indeed have been kind ? we can imagine to be the the parliament of mind and head objecting question of the ordinary of all educational work, but the practical man.

But here we have universities have lost, for the an opinion from one of the wisest present at least, their natural of Dons, which will lead our position as the instruments of thought into a different channel national education.

from that of the views of the unThe first-class schools of the day informed critic :turn out young men as well edu- "A growing mind is often a cated for practical purposes as are

more serviceable instructor to a most of those who have succeeded learner than a formed mind; hence in satisfying the university ex

the well-known fact that the young aminers of their worthiness to pass

often learn more from a young to a degree. There is a certain tutor, just a little their senior, prestige or hall-mark, of di- than from an accomplished man of minished value, it is true, from science.Pattison. that formerly possessed by it, in If, then, there are a sufficient this degree; and the student has number of these young men of received a certain tincture from energy to carry out the scheme of his passage through the course of instruction, the powers of those

grown old and wise enough for thing. Ideas are simply prindeeper thought and wider work ciples, capable of informing are to spare.

practice because drawn from The actual work of teaching experience, which is combination being done by the younger profes- of, and deduction from, facts; or sors, at the colleges, and by private they may be partly due to tutors, the elders become Fellows, the


flash of insight and have to do rather with men which is genius, and gained we than youths, with the problems know not how. The form, or outside rather than inside the idea, of the American axe has at university. They may act as last reached this country, the senators in the University Parlia- protests of the “ inaccessibles ” ment, regulate its practices, inform being at length estimated at their it with their special wisdom, but true value. If a man ignorant of that need not so monopolise their axes had to perform a certain work energies as to shut them out from of felling trees, and were given a larger use. Neither, indeed, need score axes to use at will, he would those who are actual lecturers be probably end in selecting the best. wholly absorbed by that special The man accustomed to his grandwork.

father's axe only would take the When we affirm that the proper instrument that resembled it most. function of the permanent element But if he were accustomed to ideas of a university is to teach ideas to also, they would fight with him the nation, the sour thought will until he became as wise as the man arise in the minds of many that who trusted to the unbiassed exwe do not want ideas; what is the perience of the event. Ideas and good of idealism to us?

experience are at one. Turning again to the Rector of The Churches are wrangling, the Lincoln College, we find :-"Every scientists are making abstruse disone of us is, consciously or uncon. coveries ; politics, social life, resciously, working out this double ligious thought, are almost a chaos problem, to combine specialty of for lack of ideas, round which fit function with generality of cul- externals might cluster as steel ture.” To bring the thought to a filings about the pole of a magnet. lower plane: a man must earn bis What is required is not novelty; bread in the world, but that there is abundance of useful problem solved, is seeking how to thought in the world which only be a free man, and earn the bread requires arrangement. In the of Heaven, which is wisdom. And history and records of philosophy that wisdom, if it be real and not can be found philosophy itself; in fan iful, will bring with it aid past experiences distilled into prinrather than obstacle to the earning ciples may be found the lost clues of the bread of the world.

of politics ; within the wrappages Hatred of ideas can only arise that have taken the name of refrom stupidity, in which case the ligion may be found its live heart state is rather one of "inaccessi- and proclaimed anew; the anomability to ideas"; from a low and lies of our social and economic life brutalised state which shrinks from may be detected by rigorous and everything elevating; from the logical application of principles, disappointing experience of weak detail by detail ; all this would be and misguided pretenders to ideas; fit work for sober minds in the or from miscomprehension of the learned leisure of the ideal uniterm and misapprehension of the versity.

“Education,” says Whewell, lesson in Mr. Mark Pattison's “necessarily holds to the past. To observations, which are strictly in act in the hope of introducing into the style of the ideal university :the University course every novelty " The fact that it is more than which attracts admiration in the three hundred years since the world, would be to bewilder and universities ceased to be metrointoxicate those whom we ought to politan centres of learning and direct and discipline.” Just as science, seems to throw an unpracbad would it be to reflect worthless tical air over the suggestion that novelties back upon the world; they should now become such. but those dowered with ideas What has not been for so long, would find for novelties their cannot, it is thought, ever be place, for there are really no again. There must be some reason novelties, but only developments in the nature of things against it. of the application of ideas. A After so long a desuetude, the sane idea, supported by its ana- privilege must have lapsed. To logies and evidences, need provoke meet this prejudice, it is enough no controversy; but were such to to cite the case of the German arise, it would be limited by logic universities, which, like ourselves, and refined by reason. But what slept from the Reformation till the ever the result, the sphere of the latter half of the eighteenth cenuniversity as a home of thought tury. We are only now setting and the centre of the minds it has about an operation which was trained, ought to be not merely of gone through in Germany a cenacademical but of national activity. tury back.” And its teaching, if it were the Organisation is a mighty power. teaching of principles drawn from The “Essays and Reviews," we experience, and the teaching of the take it, were rather a university habit of the use of principles for than an ecclesiastical outcome. As guidance, would be fruitful beyond an effort in a particular direction,

how strong they were, and of how Said Prof. F. W. Newman in much stronger influence than if 1843 [Pref. to (Huber's) "English they had been scattered anonyUniversities”]:

mously over periodicals, or written “If for the last two centuries the by men ignorant in a general universities had grown healthily sense of the drift of one another. and moderately, no faster change Attention to ideas, to the princimight perhaps now be requisite ples underlying daily experience, than actually went on for thirty would gradually tend to simplificayears together; but they need a tion of statement of them. Prininore than juvenile vigour, such ciples are essences which may go as can only be gained by either in a very small compass and are new elements or new organs, to pleasanter to take than watery expand proportionally to the free dilutions. And with a little trouble intellect which has been formed taken to make its form perfectly without them, and every day wins clear, an idea may be inculcated

upon an ignorant mind

mind more There is a stir in the universities; readily than a congeries of conthere has been a throwing off of flicting external facts. The shackles. Those who are conscious teacher may draw his ideal result of the waning of university influ- from a multitude of instances; but ences in the complex bustle of once let it be caught by the mind modern life may find a hopeful of the most ignorant-and be it re


upon them."

membered the mind loves to expand generality. The subtle thought to an idea when encouraged to do that might be flashed by paradox so—it will not be lost as easily as from one keen mind to another the memory of a fact, and it will would confuse the bumble intellect: gather spontaneously for itself such the wise man knows—but, alas, analogies and supports as may be how rare is he even among the existent in, or occur to, the mind intellectual, the learned !-that into which it has found entrance. to simplify thought until it

The true limitation of the power becomes suitable unto the lowest of the teacher of wisdom is that intelligence, it requires but to be minds in a really low state prefer mingled over and over again with depraved forms to perfect ones. love. To the creature of no A glaring, gaudy ornament will intellectual appreciation at all, it attract the savage mind much would come as simple kindliness. more than the most exquisite re- Our great men too often shut sult of harmony. This attraction themselves up within a narrow to the grotesque rather than the coterie, when they ought to be beautiful may fairly have its ana- copying Nature's method in the logies in the spiritual. Moody and message of the mother to her Sankey, with their highly coloured child. Ideas are spiritual forms ; Inferno and rhapsodical Elysium, the glow of them, which is love, attract those to whom the words is caught first, for Love is ultimate “ The kingdom of heaven is within Lord ; but the cultivation of the yourselves" would be meaningless. faculties is required before they But there would be nothing to become intellectually appreciable; labour for if minds were all just as with a young child much of perfect crystal for inspiration to the test and correction of experipass through in unimpeachablo ence is necessary before it can logical form. It is no reason for realise even natural objects in the the withholdment of ideas that manner ordinary to man. they have to make their way by Ideas form the standard which, their own expansive power. consciously or unconsciously, we

The ideal method, if we may have before our eyes in aiming at judge from the ideal masters, any object; whether our aim be rather than from the fanciful and high or low depends on the chaincomprehensible pseudo-idealists racter of those ideas, and whether who claim to be followers, is not they are the best we can lay hold on. to force upon unprepared minds If means are not taken to enable ideas that are foreign, strange, or

the mind to entertain such ideas, too large for them at once to there can be no orderly conduct expand to; but to discover for save through instinct among the them the principle inherent in that simple, and by fear among those which they are upon, and so make of complex capacity. Where fair thuir business a thing of life to ideas are not, grow dwarfish phanthem. The terrible warning, “Cast tasms, caprices and prejudices, not your pearls before swine, lest which find bodies of selfishnesses, they trample them under their feet and hold disorderly rule. ana turn and rend you,” is not to Modern prophets have said that be forgotten; but the dangerous the ancient irruptions from the course is that neglect which

limits hardy, barbarous North, which the scope of the best influences by were wont to upset civilisations not carrying them outwards into that had lost earnestness in something appreciable by the luxury, might one day find their


counterpart in eruptions from be- confusion is that the dominant low. The “lapsed masses,” held ideas are missing; we require neither by loving nor intellectual more ideas, and above all, that sympathy, would claim to possess they come with integral form, not the world by such rude hold as scarred by prejudice, or wizened pleased their fancy best.

through bigotry, but large with False hierarchies have so ob- honest love. We turn with descured the idea of the true, that light to the words of Jowett, who, perhaps few realise that they are from the intellectual observatory, inost happy when imparting to if we may so speak, of his univerthose who look to them for protec- sity position, speaks thus hopetion, and absorbing from such as fully of that which at present are their natural superiors; not gives rise to the hottest strife, the being subordinated in personality Scriptures on which the national but held spell-bound as regards religion claims to support itself:any quality, so long as the condi- « Could all be brought to an intion of its communication continues. telligence of their true meaning, Said one who was a Father himself, all might come to agree in matters We call those that have instructed of religion, That may seem to us, Fathers.

be a hope deferred, yet not altoUntil the Churches realise what gether chimerical. If it is not one who is at once of the Church held to be a thing impossible and the University(C.Wordsworth) that there should be agreement proclaims as the ancient and in the meaning of Plato or noble theory that to aim at all Sophocles, neither is it to be rescience is to aim at theology,”—and garded absurd that there such realisation seems a long way should be a like agreement in the off, there is work to be done for interpretation of Scripture. The which great powers are needed; disappearance of artificial notions and such are to be found in the and systems will pave

the way

to linked minds of the ideal univer- such an agreement.' sity, if yet somewhat dormant in This leads us to the connection the real. There is the trained of the Church with the University. capacity for thought and the In the ideal Church and the ideal leisure for its exercise; there are University, the leading minds arə stored ready for use the history at one on the philosophy of their and philosophy of the world. religion. Personal religion, which Wisdom is the sleeping princess is not creed but life, dwells in all, ever ready to respond to the and here again there is unity. But awakening kiss of the earnest- the function of the Church is to eyed prince. Those who win her bring the reality of this religion, ought to do something for very and something of this philosophy, glow and gratitude on behalf of to help the feeble and the ignorant; those who are powerless to enter the function of the university is to upon the same quest for them- keep philosophy fresh and bright selves.

by use, to impart knowledge for Amid the petty strife of sects, it special uses, to gather and convey may appear positively ludicrous to the lessons of history, and to be some who have almost reached Pyr- the store-house and source of ideas. rhonism by living so long in chaos, The Church has to give comfort and to talk of ideas as of calm, bene- example to the people of feeling; ficent, harmonious powers.

But she spreads out and becomes parothe sole reason of such miserable chial, with most varied uses; the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »