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remembered, because they were the decisions of natural justice and the universal conscience. They brought with them no canon law, but they brought the Bible ; and from that alone gathered their system of church government, the system of Congregationalism, — the independency of the churches, the equality of the clergy among themselves, the equality of the laity to the clergy, and the competency of the people to elect and inaugurate their officers in the Church as well as in the State. We venerate this system which they have transmitted to us, and, please God, we will uphold and perpetuate it.
The students of the University will permit me, in concluding this Lecture, to congratulate them upon their privileges and their prospects. We rejoice that by the recent accession to the Presidency, you are henceforth to pursue your academical career under the genial and stimulating influence of a successful example that you are to see, embodied in life, the result of well directed and persevering study — that you are to have constantly before you the model of what a true scholar should be. And whilst we congratulate you upon your privileges and rejoice with you in your prospects, will you not permit us to exhort you to be faithful in the use of your unequalled opportunities and blessings - that you may here obtain what Milton calls “a complete and generous education, which will fit you to perform skilfully, justly, and magnanimously, all the offices both of private and public life.”
ART. IX. — UNIVERSITY EDUCATION.*
It is refreshing, in this material, bustling, in harmonious age, to be allowed for a few moments to turn aside from
* 1. Addresses at the Inauguration of the Hon. Edward Everett, LL. D. as President of the Unidersity at Cambridge, Thursday, April 30, 1846. Boston: Little & Brown. 1846. 8vo. pp. 66.
2. On the Origin of Universities and Academical Degrees. By Henry Malden, M. A. Late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge ; Professor of Greek in the University of London. London. 1835. 16mo. pp. 173.
3. German University Education ; or, the Professors and Students of Germany. By Walter C. PERRY, Phil. Dr. of the University of Goitingen. London. 1845. 12mo. pp. 175.
4. Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Nr. 1–148. Halle. 1845.
the engrossing topics of the day, — from steam, politics, science and letters. To our ears this is a most welcome voice. We are of those who have a great veneration for seats of intellectual culture. We regard them as among the richest treasures of a community, essential to its true prosperity and glory. A nation cannot enjoy an enduring and elevated prosperity, cannot sit a crowned queen among the people of the earth, which does not keep alive on its altars the “sacred fire of learning," — does not provide means for the thorough training of the intellectual faculties. All, therefore, have a deep interest in University education. It is a vulgar error to suppose, that this is something which does not concern the people, that the public at large are justified in turning on it an eye of indifference. The benefits of the higher institutions of education, — Universities and Colleges, are by no means limited to the class of professional men, who through their aid are enabled to lay broad and deep the foundation of future usefulness and fame. Nor is it in their direct contributions to philosophy, to letters and the arts, alone, that they minister to the wellbeing and happiness of a State. They aid in the general development of the intellect of a nation; they encourage liberal studies; and elevate the standard of knowledge through the whole extent of the community.
Even the education acquired in the common schools, in a long series of years, is essentially affected by University attainments and influences. Nothing can be more foolish than the prejudice against Universities founded on the notion, that they serve little else than to supply the professions, and create a sort of aristocracy or “peerage" of intellect, or divert attention from pursuits of practical utility to mere abstract knowledge, to speculations and studies which lie remote from the common ways of men. The effects of University education, certainly in a country where the popular element predominates, are sure to be felt, in one form or another, for good, through the whole mass of the people. It is no more possible to confine them to a favored few than to limit the circulation of the electric fluid, or confine the common air. It is the essential tendency of knowledge to diffuse itself, and all the practical arts and the whole intellectual and moral life of a people are ad
Formation of Character.
vanced, refined, and elevated, especially in a community like our own, by the highest order of literary seminaries.
The excellent Address of President Everett, which at the time of its delivery, was listened to with delight by as intelligent an audience as was ever assembled in New England, and which will be read with deep interest by all lovers of good learning, well states and illustrates the objects of University education under three general heads, as follows.
“First, the acquisition of knowledge in the various branches of science and literature, as a general preparation for the learned professions and the other liberal pursuits of life;
Secondly, in the process of acquiring this knowledge, the exercise and development of the intellectual faculties, as a still more important part of the great business of preparation; - and,
Thirdly, the formation of a pure and manly character, exhibiting that union of moral and intellectual qualities which most commands confidence, respect, and love." -- pp. 34, 35.
All will agree in assigning to the formation of the character referred to under the last division, the first place among the objects a liberal education, and it is peculiarly gratifying to the friends of a pure and elevated morality sustained by the sanctions of religion, to witness the earnestness with which this topic is treated, though with unavoidable brevity, in the Inaugural Address. Let our literary and academical institutions keep this object steadily in view, and succeed in any good degree in its attainment, they will do more than in any other way to conciliate public favor and raise up to themselves efficient friends and benefactors. From this part of the address we give a single extract.
“But moral education is much too important an object to be left to follow as an incidental effect from mere literary culture. It should be deemed the distinct duty of a place of education to form the young to those habits and qualities which win regard and command respect, - gentleness of deportment, — propriety of conduct, the moral courage " that will make them hate the cowardice of doing wrong," - willing obedience to the laws of virtue, and a profound reverence for sacred things; and of these traits of character, I know of no reliable foundation but sincere and fervent religious faith, founded on conviction, enlightened by reason, and nourished by the devout observance of those means of spiritual improvement which Christianity pro
vides. In the faithful performance of this duty, I believe that a place of education, whether in Europe or America, renders at the present day a higher and more seasonable service to society, than by any thing that ends in mere scientific or literary culture. The understanding in every department of speculative or practical knowledge has advanced of late years with a vigor and success beyond what the world has witnessed at any other period; but I cannot suppress a painful impression, that this intellectual improvement has not exerted, and is not exerting, its natural influence in purifying the moral character of the age. I cannot subdue the feeling, that our modern Christendom, with all its professions and in all its communions, is sinking into a practical heathenism, which needs a great work — I had almost said a new dispensation - of reform, scarcely less than the decrepid paganisms of Greece and Rome. Christians as we are, we worship, in America and in Europe, in the city and the field, on the exchange and in the senate, and must I not add in the academy and the church, some gods as bad as those of the Pantheon. "In individual and national earnestness, in true moral heroism, and in enlightened spirituality unalloyed by mysticism, the age in which we live is making, I fear, little progress; but rather, perhaps, with all its splendid attainments in science and art, is plunging deeper into the sordid worship of
the least erected spirit that fell
In vision beatific,' It may be feared that a defect of this kind, if truly stated and sufficiently general to mark the character of an age, will prove too strong for any corrective influences but those of public calamity, and what are called, in our expressive national phrase, 'the times that try men's souls.' But I have long thought, that if, in a period of prosperity and by gentle influences, any thing can be effected toward the same end, the work must be begun in our seminaries of liberal education, and that they have a duty to perform, in this respect, which cannot be too strongly urged nor too deeply felt.” — pp. 54 - 56.
The religious condition and wants of the College present a subject on which we intended here to have offered some remarks, but our limits prohibit us from entering upon it, as well as on several other topics suggested by the Address.
Near the commencement of his Address, President Everett introduces an allusion to the English and German Universities, to the former of which our own University,
University of Cambridge, England.
"as far as the academical portion of it is concerned,” bears a striking resemblance; the general range of study not being materially lower in Harvard than in them, and the average age of those who resort to it, being but little short of that of the students at the English Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The history of the English Universities, and especially that at Cambridge, where so many of the early fathers of New England were educated, can never be without interest on this side of the Atlantic. On the subject of these Universities, Hüber's work, published in 1843, in three volumes, is the great authority. Some valuable gleanings respecting them, as also respecting the early Continental universities, however, may be obtained from the little work named at the head of this article, which though in part founded on recent and quite accessible authorities, yet in several particulars shows no slight original research among older writers, as Conringius, Itter, and others.
We give a single extract, somewhat curious, relating to the origin of the University at Cambridge, in England. The account résts on the authority of Peter of Blois, to whose testimony in this case Hüber finds no insuperable objection, though he gives the story with more brevity than Professor Malden.
“The traditions of the Universities of Paris and Oxford, with regard to their foundation by the famous kings Charlemagne and Alfred, are such as would tempt chroniclers to repeat them without stopping to consider the truth of them ; but the tradition of the origin of the University of Cambridge is of so very unpretending a character, that though the external evidence for it is not very strong, it may fairly be left to stand on its own probability. It is said that Joffred, Abbot of Croyland in 1109, successor of Ingulphus, sent over to his manor of Cotenham nigh Cambridge, Gislebert, his fellow monk and professor of divinity, and three other monks who followed him into England (from Orleans.). From Cotenham they daily repaired to Cambridge. There they hired a public barn, made open profession of their sciences, and in a little time drew a number of scholars together. In less than two years' time, their number increased so much, from the country as well as town, that there was never a house, barn, or church, big enough to hold them all. Upon which they dispersed themselves in different parts of the town, imitating the University of Orleans.' Three of the party taught the three branches of the Trivium, - grammar, logic, and rhetoric; and Gislebert preached to the people on Sundays and holidays.