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know one or two of the younger masters who would be very useful. My notion of the main objects of the work would be this; st. To give really fair accounts and analyses of the works of the early Christian Writers, giving also, so far as possible, a correct view of the critical questions relating to them; as to their genuineness, and the more or less corrupted state of the text. 2d. To make some beginnings of Biblical Criticism, which, as far as relates to the Old Testament, is in England almost non-existent. 3d. To illustrate in a really impartial spirit, with no object but the advancement of the Church of Christ, and the welfare of the Commonwealth of England, the rise and progress of Dissent; to shew what Christ's Church and this nation have owed to the Establishment and to the Dissenters; and, on the other hand, what injury they have received from each ; with a view of promoting a real union between them. These are matters particular, but all bearing upon the great philosophical and Christian truth, which seems to me the very truth of truths, that Christian unity and the perfection of Christ's Church are independent of theological Articles of opinion; consisting in a certain moral state and moral and religious affections, which have existed in good Christians of all ages and all communions, along with an infinitely varying proportion of truth and error; that thus Christ's Church has stood on a rock and never failed; yet has always been marred with much of intellectual error, and also of practical resulting from the intellectual; that to talk of Popery, as the great Apostacy, and to look for Christ's Church only amongst the remnant of the Vaudois, is as absurd as to look to what is called the Primitive Church or the Fathers for pure models of faith in the sense of opinion or of government; that Ignatius and Innocent III. are to be held as men of the same stamp,--zealous and earnest Christians both of them, but both of them overbearing and fond of power; the one advancing the power of Bishops, the other that of the Pope with equal honesty,-it may be, for their respective times,
with equal benefit,—but with as little claim the one as the other to be an authority for Christians, and with equally little impartial perception of universal truth. But then for the Editor; if he must live in London or in the Universities, I cannot think of the man.
LXXVIII. TO REV F. C. BLACKSTONE.
Fox How, January 29, 1835. We have now been here nearly six weeks, enjoying this country to the full, in spite of the snow, of which we have had more than our usual portion. Now, however, it is all gone, and the spring lights and gentle airs of the last few days have made the beauty of the scenery at its very highest. We have so large a party in the house, that we are very independent of any other society; my wife's two sisters and one of my nieces, besides one of our Sixth Form at Rugby, in addition to our own children. I was much annoyed at being called away into Warwickshire to vote at the election,-a long and hurried and expensive journey, with no very great interest in the contest, only as having a vote, I thought it right to go, and deliver my testimony. We were at one time likely to have a contest in Westmoreland, but that blew over. I wish that in thinking of you with a pupil, I could think of you as enjoying the employment, whereas I am afraid you will feel it to be a burden. It is, perhaps, too exclusively my business at Rugby; at least I fancy that I should be glad to have a little more time for other things; but I have not yet learnt to alter my feelings of intense interest in the occupation. I feel, perhaps, the more interest in it, because I seem to find it more and more hopeless to get men to think and inquire freely and fairly, after they have once taken their side in life. The only hope is with the young, if by any means they can be led to think for themselves without following a party, and to love what is good and true, let them find it where they will.
The Church question remains more uncertain than ever; we have got a respite, I trust, from the Jew Bill for some time; but in other matters, I fear, Reform according to my views, is as far off as ever; I care not in the least about the pluralities and equalizing revenues; let us have a real Church Government and not a pretended one; and this government vested in the Church, and not in the clergy, and we may have hopes yet. But I dread above all things the notion either of the convocation or of any convocation, in which the Laity had not at least an equal voice. As for the Irish Church, that I think will baffle any man's wits to settle as it should be settled.
Fox How, Kendal, January 25, 1835. I have tried the experiment, which I mentioned to you about the Fifth Form, with some modifications. I have not given the Fifth the power of fagging, but by reducing their number to about three or four and twenty, we have made them much more respectable both in conduct and scholarship, and more like boys at the head of the school. I do not think that we have at present a large proportion of clever boys at Rugby, and there are many great evils which I have to contend with, more than are generally known. I think, also, that we are now beginning to outlive that desire of novelty which made so many people send their sons to Rugby, when I first went there. I knew that that feeling would ebb, and therefore got the school limited; or else as the flood would have risen higher, so its ebb would have been more marked; but, as it was, the limit was set too high, and I do not think that we shall keep up to it, especially as other foundation schools are every day becoming reformed, and therefore entering into competition with us. But I say this without the least uneasiness, for the school is really mending in itself; and its credit at the Universities increasing rather than falling off; and, so long as this is the case, I shall be perfectly satisfied; if we were really to go down in efficiency, either from my fault, or from faults which I could not remedy, I should soon establish myself at Fox How.
I wrote to Hawtrey to congratulate him on his appointment, and I took that opportunity to ask him what he thought of the expediency of getting up good grammars, both Latin and Greek, which, being used in all or most of the great public schools, would so become, in fact, the national grammars. I should propose to adopt something of the plan followed by our Translators of the Bible ; i. e. that a certain portion of each grammar should be assigned to the master or masters of each of the great schools; e.g. the accidence to one, syntax to another, prosody to a third; or probably with greater subdivisions; that then the parts so drawn up should be submitted to the revision of the other schools, and the whole thus brought into shape. Hawtrey exclaims strongly against the faults of the Eton grammars, and I am not satisfied with Matthiæ, which seems to me too difficult, and almost impossible to be learnt by heart. Hawtrey said he would write to me again, when he found himself more settled, and I have not heard from him since. I should like to know what your sentiments are about it; it would be páriota nat' ćuxnv to have a common grammar jointly concocted; but if I cannot get other men to join me, I think we must try our hands on one for our own use at Rugby ; I shall not, however, think of this till all hope of something bettera is out of the question.
It seems to me that we have not enough of cooperation in our system of public education, including both the great schools and Universities. I do not like the centralizing plan of compulsory uniformity under the government; but I do not see why we should all be acting without the least reference to one another. Something of this kind is wanted, particularly I think with regard to expulsion.
a The necessity for such a plan was eventually obviated by his adoption of the Rev. C. Wordsworth's Greek Grammar.
Under actual circumstances it is often no penalty at all in reality, while it is considered ignorantly to be the excess of severity, and the ruin of a boy's prospects. And until the Universities have an examination upon admission, as a University, not a college regulation, the standard of the college lecture rooms will be so low, that a young man going from the top of a public school will be nearly losing his time, and tempted to go back in his scholarship by attending them. This is an old grievance at Oxford, as I can bear witness, when I myself was an under-graduate just come from Winchester.
Rugby, February 10, 1835. I know not how adequately to answer your last delightful and most kind letter, so interesting to me in all its parts, so full of matter for the expression of so many thoughts and so many feelings. I think you can hardly tell, how I prize such true sympathy of heart and mind as I am sure to find in your letters; because I hope and believe that it is not so rare to you as it is to me. I find in you that exact combination of tastes, which I have in myself, for philological, historical, and philosophical pursuits, centering in moral and spiritual truths; the exact Greek antixn, if we understand, with St. Paul, where the άστυ of our πολιτεια is to be sought for. Your Hymn Book reached me before the holidays, and I fed upon it with unceasing delight in Westmoreland. It is, indeed, a treasure ; and how I delighted in recognising the principles of the Letter to Dr. Nott in the first Appendix to the volume. As to the Hymns, I have not yet read a single one, which I have not thought good. I should like to know some of your favourites; for myself, I am especially fond of the Hymn 24, “Seele, du musst munter werden,” &c.; of 697, “ Der Mond ist aufgegaugen;" of 824,"O liebe Seele, konntst du werden;" of 622, “ Erhebt ench