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and taken away from ours, but nothing could ever justify a compromise between us and them in such a matter as education. .
I am quite sure that no earnest Christian would wish the Gospels and Acts, and the Scripture History, to be excluded, because they were in some instances understood differently. It was a sure mark of the false mother, when she said, “ Let the child be neither mine nor thine, but divide it;" the real mother valued the child very differently. I can see, therefore, in this question, no persons opposed to us whom I should wish to conciliate,-no benefits in the University, if it bears no mark of Christianity which I should think worth preserving. It will grieve me very much if we in the last result take a different view of this matter.
Rugby, November 20, 1837. I have long since purposed to write to you, and at last I hope I shall be able to do it. I always read your additions to the Journal with great interest, and they never fail to awaken in me many thoughts of various kinds, but principally, I think, a strong sense of the blessing which seems to follow your father's house, and of the true peace which, for seventeen years, I can testify, and I believe for many more, has continually abided with it. And this peace I am inclined to value above every other blessing in the world; for it is very far from the “Otium” of the Epicurean, and might indeed be enjoyed anywhere; but in your case outward circumstances seem happily to have combined with inward, and other people have rarely, I believe, so large a portion of the one or of the other. I am not disposed to quarrel with my own lot; nevertheless, it is not altogether peaceful, and this great concern oppresses me more as I grow older, and as I feel more deeply the
evils I am powerless to quell. You see much hardness, perhaps, and much ignorance, but then you see also much softness, if nowhere else, yet amongst the sick; and you see much affection and self-denial amongst the poor, which are things to refresh the heart; but I have always to deal with health and youth and lively spirits, which are rarely soft or self-denying. And where there is little intellectual power, as generally there is very little, it is very hard to find any points of sympathy. And the effect of this prevalent mediocrity of character is very grievous. Good does not grow, and the fallow ground lies ready for all evil.
TO W. EMPSON, ESQ.
Rugby, November 28, 1837. The whole question turns upon this whether the country understood, and was meant to understand, that the University of London was to be open to all Christians without distinction, or to all men without distinction. The question which had been discussed with regard to Oxford and Cambridge, was the admissibility of Dissenters; which in common speech does not mean, I think, Dissenters from Christianity: no one argued, so far as I know, for the admission of avowed unbelievers. I thought that the University of London was intended to solve this question, and I therefore readily joined it. I thought that whatever difficulties were supposed to exist with respect to the introduction of the Greek Testament, related to Dissenters only, and, as such, I respected them; and our plan, therefore, waiving the Epistles, requires only some one Gospel and the Acts: that is, any one who is afraid of the Gospel of St. John, may take up St. Luke, or St. Mark; and St. Luke and the Acts have been translated by the Irish Board of Education, and are used in the Irish schools with the full consent of Catholics and Protestants ; nor do I imagine that any Protestant Dissenters could consistently object to either. I do not see the force
of the argument about the College in Gower Street; because we admit their students to be examined for degrees, we do not sanction their system, any more than we sanction the very opposite system of King's College. Nor does it follow, so far as I see, that University College must have a Professor of Theology, because we expect its members to have a knowledge of the elements of Christianity. University College hopes—or has not yet ventured to say it does not hope—that its students are provided with this knowledge before they join it. But I should protest, in the strongest terms, against its being supposed that our University is to be merely an University College with a Charter: if so, undoubtedly I would not belong to it for an hour. You say that we are bringing in the Greek Testament by a side wind, in putting it in amongst the classical writers: but, if by Classics we mean any thing more than Greek and Latin Grammar, they are just the one part of our Examination which embraces points of general education: for instance, we have put in some recommendations about Modern History, which, if Classics be taken to the letter, are just as much of a departure from our province as what we have done about the Greek Testament. On the whole, I am quite clear as to my original position, namely, that if you once get off from the purely natural ground of physical science, Philology, and pure Logic,—the moment, in short, on which you enter upon any moral subjects,—whether Moral Philosophy or History, you must either be Christian or Antichristian, for you touch upon the ground of Christianity, and you must either take it as your standard of moral judgment,-or you must renounce it, and either follow another standard, or have no standard at all. In other words, again, the moment you touch on what alone is education, the forming the moral principles and habits of man,-neutrality is impossible : it would be very possible, if Christianity consisted really in a set of theoretical truths, as many seem to fancy; but it is not possible, inasmuch
as it claims to be the paramount arbiter of all our moral judgments; and he who judges of good and evil, right and wrong, without reference to its authority, virtually denies it. The Gower Street College I therefore hold to be Antichristian, inasmuch as it meddles with moral subjects,-having lectures in History,—and yet does not require its Professors to be Christians. And so long as the Scriptures were held to contain divine truth on physical science, it was then impossible to give even physical instruction neutrally ;-you must either teach it according to God's principles, (it being assumed that God's word had pronounced concerning it,) or in defiance of them. I hope we may meet on Saturday: I know that you are perfectly sincere, and that L—- is so; nevertheless, I am persuaded that your argument goes on an over-estimate of the theological and abstract character of Christianity, and an under-estimate of it as a moral law ; else how can L- talk of a clergyman being in a false position in belonging to the University, if he does not think that the position is equally false for every Christian : if it be false for me, it is false for you, except on the priestcraft notion, which is as unchristian, in my opinion, as the system in Gower Street. Indeed, the two help one another well.
TO J. C. PLATT, ESQ.
Rugby, December 6, 1837. I am afraid that I did no service to the Hertford Reformer; for what I sent them was, I knew, too general and discursive for a newspaper: but they would insert all my articles, and I felt that they would not thank me for any more such, and I thought that I could not manage to write what really would be to their purpose. You must not misunderstand me, as if I thought that my writings were too good for a newspaper; it is very much the contrary, for I think that a newspaper requires a more condensed and practical style than I am equal to,-such,
perhaps, as only habit and mixing more in the actual shock of opinions can give a man. My writing partakes of the character of my way of life, which is very much retired from the high way of politics, and of all great discussions, though it is engaged enough with a busy little world of its
I was much gratified in the summer by going over to France for about ten days, at the end of the holidays, with my wife and three eldest children. Seven years had elapsed since I had been in France last, so that many things had quite an appearance of novelty, and I fancied that I could trace the steady growth of every thing from the continuance of peace, and the absence of most of those evils which in times past so interfered with national prosperity. We went to Rouen, Evreux, and Chartres, and then came back through Versailles and Paris. I admired Paris, as I always had done, and we had very fine weather ; but I had no time to call on any body, even if all the world had not been in the country. This little tour I owed to the election, which brought me up from Westmoreland to Warwickshire to vote, and it was so near the end of the holidays, that it did not seem worth while to go back again. I watched the elections with great interest, but not with much surprise. In 1831, when I wrote for the Sheffield Courant, I shared the common opinion as to the danger which threatened all our institutions from the force of an ultra-popular party. But the last six years have taught me,--what the Roman History ought indeed to have shewn me before,—that when an aristocracy is not thoroughly corrupted, its strength is incalculable; and it acts through the relations of private life, which are permanent, whereas the political excitement, which opposes it, must always be short-lived. In fact, the great amount of liberty and good government enjoyed in England, is the security of the aristocracy: there are no such pressing and flagrant evils existing, as to force men's attention from their own domestic concerns, and make them cast VOL. II.