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worldly concerns, and consecrated by the most sacred obligations to the preaching of that spiritual holiness, which the eagerness of temporal speculations and interest has so strong a tendency to induce us to neglect." We have already stated, that if there be any risk of science diverting the minds of the people from religion, the safeguard is to be found in the redoubled exertions of its ministers, not in attacks upon knowledge, and opposition to its diffusion. But we cannot think that our author takes a sound view of the peculiar benefits of religion in the following passage, where he seems to value it chiefly for the assistance he deems it peculiarly, and indeed exclusively, calculated to render the law and the government of the state.
" It has been said, and often repeated, that he, who can cause two blades of corn to grow where only one existed formerly, may be considered as the greatest benefactor to his species. There is, undoubtedly, much truth, but there is also some degree of fallacy, conveyed in this assertion. Were the whole mass of human sustenance produced by the soil now under cultivation to be increased two-fold by the efforts of human ingenuity and industry, we may assert it, as an undoubted truth, that the only effect, after the lapse of a few years, would be found to have been the multiplication, in a like proportion, of the number of its occupants, with probably at the same time a far increased proportion of misery and crime beyond that with which society is afflicted at the present moment. Whether the simple and contented habits which in many parts of this country have not yet, we trust, given way to more artificial feelings, would be under such circumstances well exchanged for the feverish excitement, the ungratified wants, and the selfish passions fostered by an over-crowded population, may be matter of serious doubt. Eren as a question of political strength, the danger resulting to a nation thus situated, from the prevalence of jealous and unsocial feelings, would probably far more than counterbalance any accession of physical power which might otherwise be calculated upon from the mere increase of the numbers of its citizens. The real fact is, that the true benefactor to his species, the true practical friend to the best interests of his countrymen, is he who, by making them more religious, makes them at the same time more contented, more social, and more obedient to the laws. Without that patience, that brotherly love, and that deference to those in authority, for conscience sake, which a deep-rooted feeling of pieiy alone can systematically inculcate, and maintaju unshaken through every species of trial, the bands of human society must ever be loosely knit together. W. may, it is true, imagine an irreligious people elevating itself for a time into wealth and greatness; we may conceive il pre-eminent meanwhile in physical science, and making the mighty elements of nature the ministers 10 its conveniences and minulest luxuries : but selfishness, inveterate selfishness, the very source of all disunion, whether domestic or political, will be the moving principle of the whole. l'he coarse attractions of wealth, the vulgar impatience of worldly ambition, ihe jealousies of incompatible interests, and the irrilation of hopeless poverty, will be turning each man's band againsi his neighbour, and the whole mass of the coinmunity, however apparently strong, and wise, and prosperous, will be intrinsically weak, like a vast mountain of sand ready to be dispersed into its individual particles by the first tempest which passes over it.”
This passage opens with a mis-quotation of the saying to which it refers. Dean Swift never said, “ that the man who caused two blades of corn to grow where only one existed before,” was the greatest benefactor of his species ; but only, that he “ deserved better of mankind, and did more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together,” which he well might, and yet be very far from the greatest benefactor of his species." But this is a trifling matter; what we are jealous of is the holding of religion as of use, as alone systematically inculcating deference to those in authority, for conscience sake,” and as alone "maintaining that deference unshaken through every species of trial.” One who understood Christianity far better, as he practised its precepts more conscientiously, than Dean Swist, we mean Archdeacon Paley, has long ago shown, that it has given no directions whatever upon the extent to which obedience is required. The duty of obedience, where fit and lawful, it undoubtedly inculcates; but it leaves to considerations of a secular description the determination of the point to which “the powers " should be obeyed; and as to any alliance
Dr. Shuttleworth's "blades of corn,” elc. cannot be said to retain much more of the Dean's accuracy than of his point. The sentence is as follows: “And he (King of Brobdignag) gare it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground, where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.”
between church and state, (if that was in our author's contemplation, which we hardly think his words warrant us in supposing,) Dr. Paley, it is well known, holds the sound doctrine, sound in a religious as well as a political view, that religion can only be debased, corrupted, and abused, (we cite his own language almost to the word), by such an association.
Upon the whole, and with the few exceptions we have noted, we have derived great satisfaction from the persual of this discourse, considering, that it is professedly intended as a correction to the supposed excesses of those who are bent on the better education of the community. For it shows no. disposition to deny the value of merely human learning; and it, for the most part, seeks to apply the right remedy, if there should be found any mischief. Above all, it seeks not to counteract the efforts which the friends of knowledge are making in every quarter. Nothing is said which can tend to alienate a single religious person from his union with them, or to damp his zeal in the cause. The man who heard and profited by the sermon, and the reverend person who preached it, might, with perfect consistency, enro! themselves on the morrow among the benefactors to a mechanics' institution, as the late Bishop of Durham did; or join with other ornaments of the hierarchy in distributing cheap tracts, which bring the most important branches of human knowledge within the reach of the people. Of course, neither the distinguished prelate, nor his coadjutors, ever begrudged the objects of their bountiful and judicious care the means of religious instruction through other channels, and at the fitting seasons.*
THE LONDON UNIVERSITY. +
Few things have ever appeared to us more inexplicable than the cry which it has pleased those who arrogate to themselves the exclusive praise of loyalty and orthodoxy, to raise against the projected University of London. In most of those publications which are distinguished by zeal for the Church and the Government, the scheme is never mentioned but with affected contempt or unaffected fury. The Academic pulpits have resounded with invectives against it; and many even of the most liberal and enlightened
* On the important subject of popular Education, it would be impossible to comprise, within the limits to which I am confined, even an epitome of the valuable matter in the E. Review. Since the commencement of that journal, it has occupied a conspicuous place in its pages, and been discussed with an earnestness and ability commensurate with its vast and increasing importance. I have elsewhere adverted to the Essays on the Lancasterian System and on Mr. Brougham's project for a National Plan of Education for England. I refer to the following articles with pleasure, as well entitled to the reader's attention :- A judicious Recommendation of Infant Schools. Vol. xxxviii. page 437.- An Account of the Scottish Parochial Schools. Vol. xlvi. page 107.-A Refutation of the Arguments against enlightening the Minds of the Lower Orders. Vol. xlii. page 450. – An Exposure of High Church Opinions on Popular Education. Vol. xlii
. page 206; and Vol. xxxv. page 509.-Sketch of the Hazlewood System of Instruction. Vol. xli. page 315.-A Review of the Edgeworth Plan of Education. Vol. xxxiv. page 121.- Two very interesting Sketches of Mr. Fellenburgh's Establishments for the Poor. Vol. xxxi. page 150. Vol. xxxii. page 488. The proceedings of that excellent hostitution, the Society for the Dillusion of Knowledge, have latterly engaged the attention of the E. Review. See Vol. xlv. page 190. Vol. xlvi. page 22. Vol. xlvi. page 515. Vol. xlvii. page 118. Vol. xlviii. page 258. Vol. xlix. page 150. Vol. I. page 181. Vol. li. page 526. In two recent numbers of the Review, the State of Education in the Pablic Sehools of England has been very fully discussed. See Vol. li. page
05. and Vol. lui, page 64.
Thoughts on the Advancement of Academical Education. London, 1826. – Vol. xlii. p. 315. February, 1826.
members of the old foundations seem to contemplate it with very uncomfortable feelings.
We were startled at this. For surely no undertaking of equal importance was ever commenced in a manner more pacific and conciliatory. If the management has fallen, in a great measure, into the hands of persons whose political opinions are at variance with those of the dominant party, this was not the cause, but the effect of the jealousy which that party thought fit to entertain. Oxford and Cambridge, to all appearance, had nothing to dread. Hostilities were not declared. Even rivalry was disclaimed. The new Institution did not aspire to participate in the privileges which had been so long monopolized by those ancient corporations. It asked for no franchises, no lands, no advowsons. It did not interfere with that mysterious scale of degrees on which good churchmen look with as much veneration as the Patriarch on the ladder up which he saw angels ascending. It did not ask permission to search houses without warrants, or lo take books from publishers without paying for them. There was to be no melodramatic pagcantry, no ancieni ceremonial, no silver mace, no gowns either black or red, no hoods either of fur or of salin, no public orator to make speeches which nobody hears, no oaths sworn only to be broken. Nobody thought of emulating ihe cloisters, the organs, the painted glass, the withered mummies, the busts of great men, and the pictures of naked women, which attract visitors from every part of the Island to the banks of Isis and Cam.
Tho persons whose advantage was chiefly in view belonged to a class of which very few ever find their way to the old colleges. The name of University was indeed assumed; and it has been said that this gave offence. But we are confident that so ridiculous an objection can have been entertained by very few. It reminds us of the whimsical cruelty with which Mercury, in Plautus, knocks down poor Sosia for being so impudent as to have the same name with himself!
We know indeed that there are many to whom knowledge is hateful for its own sake,-owl-like beings, creatures of darkness, and rapine, and evil omen, who are sensible that their organs fit them only for the night,-and that, as soon as the day arises, they shall be pecked back to their nooks by those on whom they now prey with impunity. By the arts of those enemies of mankind, a large and influential party has been led to look with suspicion, if not with horror, on all schemes of education, and to doubt whether the ignorance of the people be not the best security for ils virtue
We will not at present attack the principles of these persons, because we think that, even on those principles, they are bound to support the London University. If indeed it were possible to bring back, in all their ancient loveliness, the times of venerable absurdities and good old nuisances—if we could hope that gentlemen might again put their marks to deeds wilhout blushing—that it might again be thought a miracle if any body in a parish could read, except the Vicar, or if the Vicar were to read any thing but the Service,- that all the literature of the multitude might again be comprised in a ballad or a prayer,--that the Bishop of Norwich might be burned for a heretic, and Sir Humphry Davy hanged for a conjurer,--that the Chancellor of the Exchequer might negotiate loans with Mr. Rothschild, by extracting one of his teeth daily till he brought him to terms,-then indeed the case would be different. But, alas! who can venture to anticipale such a millennium of stupidity? The zealots of ignorance will therefore do well to
consider, whether, since the evils of knowledge cannot be altogether excluded, it may not be desirable to set them in array against each other. The best state of things, we will concede to them, would be that in which all men should be dunces together. That might be called the age of gold. The silver age would be that in which no man should be taught to spell, unless he could produce letters of ordination, or, like a candidate for a German order of knighthood, prove his sixty-four quarters. Next in the scale would stand a community in which the higher and middling orders should be well educated, and the labouring people utterly uninformed. But the iron age would be that in which the lower classes should be rising in intelligence, while no corresponding improvement was taking place in the rank immediately above them.
England is in the last of these states. From one end of the country to the other the artisans, the draymen, the very ploughboys, are learning to read and wrile. Thousands of them attend lectures. Hundreds of thousands read newspapers. Whether this be a blessing or a curse, we are not now inquiring. But such is the fact. Education is spreading amongst the working people, and cannot be prevented from spreading amongst them. The change which has taken place in this respect within twenty years is prodigious. No
person, surely, will venture to say that information has increased in the same degree amongst those who constitute what may be called the lower part of the middling class,-farmers, for instance, shopkeepers, or cierks in commercial houses.
If there be any truth in the principles held by the enemies of education, this is the most dangerous state in which a country can be placed. They maintain that knowledge renders the poor arrogant and discontented. It will hardly be disputed, we presume, that arrogance is the result, not of the absolute situation in which a man may be placed, but of the relation in which he stands to others. Where a whole society is equally rising in intelligence, where the distance between its different orders remains the same, though every order advances, that feeling is not likely to be excited. An individual is no more vain of his knowledge, because he participates in the universal improvement, than he is vain of his speed, because he is flying along with the earth and every thing upon it at the rate of seventy thousand miles an hour. But if he feels that he is going forward, while those before him are standing still, the case is altered. If ever the diffusion of knowledge can be attended with the danger of which we hear so much, it is in England at the present moment. And this danger can be obviated in two ways only. Unleach the poor,-or teach those who may, by comparison, be called the rich. The former it is plainly impossible to do: and therefore, if those whom we are addressing be consistent, they will exert themselves to do the lalter; and, by increasing the knowledge, increase also the power of an extensive and important class,—a class which is as deeply interested as the peerage or the hierarchy in the prosperity and tranquillity of the country; a class which, while it is too numerous to be corrupted by government, is too intelligent to be duped by demagogues, and which, though naturally hostile to oppression and profusion, is not likely to carry its zeal for reform to lengths inconsistent with the security of property and the maintenance of social order.
“But an University without religion !" softly expostulates the Quarterly Review.-“An University without religion!" roars John Bull, wedging in his pious horror between a slander and a double-entendre. And from
pulpils and visitation-dinners and combination-rooms innumerable, the cry is echoed and re-echoed, “ An University without religion !"
This objection has really imposed on many excellent people, who have not adverted to the immense difference which exists between the new institution and those foundations of which the members form a sort of family, living under the same roof, governed by the same regulations, compelled to eat at the same table, and to return to their apartments at the same hours. Have none of those who censure the London University on this account, daughters who are educated at home and who are attended by different teachers? The music master, a good Protestant, comes at twelve ; the dancing-master, a French philosopher, at two; the Italian master, a believer in the blood of Saint Januarius, at three. The parents take upon themselves the office of instructing their child in religion. She hears the preachers whom they prefer, and reads the theological works which they put into her hands. Who can deny that this is the case in innumerable families? Who can point out any material difference between the situation in which this girl is placed, and that of a pupil at the new University?
Why then is so crying an abuse suffered to exist without reprehension ? Is there no Sacheverell to raise the old cry,-lhe Church is in danger, that cry which was never uttered by any voice however feeble, or for any end however base, without being instantly caught up and repeated through all the dark and loathsome nooks where bigotry nestles with corruplion? Where is the charge of the Bishop and the sermon of the Chaplain, the tear of the Chancellor and the oath of the Heir-apparent, the speech of Mr. William Bankes and the pamphlet of Sir Harcourt Lees? What means the silence of those filthy and malignant baboons, whose favourile diversion is to grin and sputter at innocence and beauty through the grates of their spunging-houses? Why not attempt to blast the reputation of the poor ladies who are so irreligiously brought up? Why not search into all the secrets of their families? Why not enliven the Sunday breakfast-tables of priests and placemen with the elopements of their great aunts and the bankruptcies of their second cousins?
Or, to make the parallel still clearer, take the case of a young man, a student, we will suppose, of surgery, resident in London. He wishes to become master of his profession, without neglecting other useful branches of knowledge. In the morning he altends Mr. M‘Culloch's lecture on Political Economy. He then repairs to the Hospital, and hears Sir Astley Cooper explain the mode of reducing fractures. In the afternoon he joins one of the Classes which Mr. Hamilton instructs in French or German. With regard to religious observances, he acts as he bimself, or those under whose care he is, may think most advisable. Is there any thing objectionable in this? Is it not the most common case in the world? And in what does it differ from that of a young man at the London University? Our surgeon, it is true, will have to run over half London in search of his instructors; and the other will find all the lecture-rooms which he attends standing conveniently together, at the end of Gower Street. "Is it in the local situation that the mischief lies? We have observed that, since Mr. Croker, in the last session of Parliament, declared himself ignorant of the site of Russell Square, the plan of forming an University in so elegant a neighbourhood has excited much contempt amongst those estimable persons who think that the whole dignity of man consists in living within certain districts, wearing coats made by certain tailors, and eschewing certain meats and drinks.