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ing to another world. Now he seemed to have the freshest view of our Lord's life and death that I ever knew a man to possess. His rich mind filled up the naked outline of the Gospel history ;-it was to him the most interesting fact that has ever happened,as real, as exciting (if I may use the expression) as any recent event in modern history of which the actual effects are visible.” And all his comments, on whatever view of inspiration they were given, were always made in a tone and manner that left an impression that from the book which lay before him he was really seeking to draw his rule of life, and, that whilst he examined it in earnest to find what its meaning was, when he had found it he intended to abide by it.
The effect of these instructions was naturally more permanent (speaking merely in an intellectual point of view) than the lessons themselves, and it was a frequent topic of censure that his pupils were led to take up his opinions before their minds were duly prepared for it. It may be observed that what was true of his method and intention in the simplest matters of instruction, was true of it as applied to the highest matters. Undoubtedly it was his belief that the minds of young men ought to be awakened as soon as possible to the greatness of things around them; and it was his earnest endeavour to give them what he thought the best means of attaining a firm hold upon truth. But it was always his wish that his pupils should form their opinions for themselves, and not take them on trust from him. To his particular political principles he carefully avoided allusion, and it was rarely that his subjects for school compositions touched on any topics that could have involved, even remotely, the disputed points of party politics. In theological matters, partly from the nature of the case, partly from the peculiar aspect under which for the last six years of his life he regarded the Oxford school, he both expressed his thoughts more openly, and was more anxious to impress them upon his pupils; but this was almost entirely in the comparatively few sermons preached on what could be called controversial topics. And though in his intercourse with his pupils after they had left the school, he naturally spoke with greater freedom on political or theological subjects, yet it was usually when invited by them, and, though he often deeply lamented their adoption of what he held to be erroneous views, he much disliked a merely unmeaning echo of his own opinions. “ It would be a great mistake,” he said, “ if I were to try to make myself here into a Pope.”
It cannot, however, be doubted that, as one almost inevitable consequence of coming into contact with his teaching, and with the new world which it opened, his pupils would often, on their very entrance into life, have acquired a familiarity and encountered a conflict with some of the most harassing questions of morals and religion. And it would often happen, that the increasing reverence, which they felt for him, would not only incline them to receive with implicit credit all that he said in the lessons or in the pulpit, but also to include in their admiration of the man, all that they could gather of his general views either from report or from his published works, whilst they would naturally look with distrust on the opposite
notions in religion and politics, brought before then, as would often be the case, in close connexion with vehement attacks on him, which in most cases they could hardly help regarding as unfounded or unfair. Still the greater part of his pupils, while at school, were, after the manner of English boys, altogether unaffected by his political opinions; and of those who most revered him, none in after life could be found who followed his views implicitly, even on the subjects on which they were most disposed to listen to him. But though no particular school of opinion grew up amongst them, the end of his teaching would be answered far more truly, (and it may suggest to those who know history, similar results of similar methods in the hands of other eminent teachers,) if his scholars learned to form an independent judgment for themselves, and to carry out their opinions to their legitimate consequences,—to appreciate moral agreement amidst much intellectual difference, not only in each other or in him, but in the world at large ;—and to adopt many, if not all of his principles, whilst differing widely in their application of them to existing persons and circumstances.
III. If there is any one place at Rugby more than another which was especially the scene of Dr. Arnold's labours, both as a teacher and as a master, it is the School-chapel. Even its outward forms from “the very cross at the top of the building,”* on which he loved to dwell as a visible symbol of the Christian end of their education, to the vaults which he caused to be opened underneath for those who died in the school, must always be associated with his name. “I envy Winchester its antiquity,” he said, “and am therefore anxious to do all that can be done to give us something of a venerable outside, if we have not the nobleness of old associations to help us.” The five painted windows in the chapel were put up in great part at his expense, altogether at bis instigation. The subject of the first of these, the great east window, he delighted to regard as “strikingly appropriate to a place of education,” being “the Wise Men's Offering," and the first time after its erection that the chapter describing the Adoration of the Magi was read in the church service, he took occasion to preach upon it one of his most remarkable sermons, that of “Christian Professions—Offering Christ our best.” (Serm. vol. iii. p. 112.) And as this is connected with the energy and vigour of his life, so the subject of the last, which he chose himself a short time before his death, is the confession of St. Thomas, on which he dwelt with deep solemnity in his last hours, as in his life he had dwelt upon it as the great consolation of doubting but faithful hearts, and as the great attestation of what was to him the central truth of Christianity, our Lord's divinity. Lastly, the monuments of those who died in the school during his government of it, and whose graves were the first ever made in the chapel; above all, his own, the monument and grave of the only head-master of Rugby who is buried within its walls, give a melancholy interest to the words with which he closed a sermon preached on the Founder's day, in 1833, whilst as yet the recently opened vaults had received no dead within them:
a MS. Sermon.
hold, it is probable, our children and our children's children; may they be enabled to think, as they shall kneel perhaps over the bones of some of us now here assembled, that they are praying where their fathers prayed; and let them not, if they mock in their day the means of grace here offered to them, encourage themselves with the thought that the place had long ago been profaned with equal guilt; that they are but infected with the spirit of our ungodliness.” (Serm. vol. iii. p. 211.)
But of him especially it need hardly be said, that his chief interest in that place lay in the three hundred boys who, Sunday after Sunday, were collected, morning and afternoon, within its walls. veriest stranger,” he said, “who ever attends divine service in this chapel, does well to feel something more than common interest in the sight of the congregation here assembled. But if the sight so interests a mere stranger, what should it be to ourselves, both to you and to me?” (Serm. vol. v. p. 403.) So he spoke within a month of his death, and to him, certainly, the interest was increased rather than lessened by its familiarity. How lively is the recollection his scholars retain of the earnest attention with which, after the service was over, he sat in his place looking at the boys as they filed out one by one, in the orderly and silent arrangement which succeeded in the latter part of his stay, to the public calling over of their names in the chapel. How complete was the image of his union of dignity and simplicity, of manliness and devotion, which they have who heard him perform the chapel service, especially when at the communion table he would read or rather repeat almost by heart the Gospel and Epistle of the day, with the impressiveness of one who entered into it