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students must suffer; and habits of inattention, slovenly scholarship, and neglect of duty generally, will be formed. Now, bad as these are in lay students, they are infinitely worse in divinity students, to whom good scholarship, as well as good moral and intellectual habits, are indispensable conditions of comfort and success in the future exercise of their profession.
“ In large public classes, again, it is impossible for the Professor to make himself acquainted with the characters and attainments of individual pupils, and he is thence unable either to adapt his instructions to their particular wants, or to classify them to the best advantage, or to feel other than a general interest in their progress. It is also practically impossible to accord to the students the most valuable privi. lege of asking questions of the Professor on difficulties which occur to themselves, by which a spirit of research and an interest in the subject are encouraged, which may be turned to the best advantage by a judicious teacher.
"In small select classes, on the other hand, all these evils are easily avoided. Every student expects to be daily called up and examined. There is no temptation for him to omit preparation, and little chance of escaping detection if he does. Questions may be asked and answered, without interfering with the duties of the class. The Professor soon knows the attainments, character, and wants of each pupil; he becomes interested in the progress of each, and feels himself more directly responsible for each.”-Pp. 8, 9.
Mr. Bowman quotes the precedent of Germany as decisive upon the evils of a very large class. In the Gymnasia, when a class exceeds 40, it is divided into two and a second Professor appointed. He also points out a danger, which the history of the old Universities entirely, and in some degree the history of University College itself, has developed, that the tutorial system will become necessary to supply the deficiencies of the professorial in connection with very large classes. An inequality would immediately ensue, unjust to the poorer classes of students unable to fee a tutor, and this inequality would injuriously affect our divinity students. It is said, with great force, that our theological students must not receive an inferior education to that enjoyed by the young laymen whom they are afterwards to instruct from the pulpit; but in order to secure this object, the tutorial system must be avoided.
Another objection taken by Mr. Bowman to a transference of the College from Manchester to London is this, Manchester College could no longer make its independent arrangements for the instruction of its students, after graduation, in the higher branches of the Classics. It must take such instruction as is supplied. There is no demand in University College for such higher instruction, and it can scarcely be expected that it would be supplied for the sake of the half-dozen students of an affiliated institution.
“Our divinity students must graduate at the end of their third session, when they have arrived only at the middle of their course of study. We require, then, for these a third class, which may sometimes comprise half the divinity students, who, though they have graduated, must not discontinue their classical studies, but while they devote to them a less proportion of their time, must read a somewhat different and more advanced course. For instance, the reading should have a more immediate bearing on their profession, including the philosophical works of Cicero, Plato, or Aristotle, and the instruction given in connection with this reading should embrace, not only the structure and niceties of the Languages, but some exercises in the higher branches of Hermeneutics and Criticism. Now for this third and important stage of the course, the public classes of University College contain no provision whatever. But in Manchester this provision is easily made. What could a class, consisting of graduates only, do in the large, miscellaneous, and comparatively juvenile classes of University College ? I think it will not now appear too much to say, that the instruction of these classes would be found totally insufficient for the requirements of our divinity students. And the conviction of their insufficiency will be strengthened, when we remember that it is from our divinity students that the classical instructors of our next generation will, in all probability, be selected; and our aim must therefore now be, not merely to make them Bachelors of Arts, but something a great deal higher, and much more difficult of attainment, viz., wellgrounded and accurate scholars.”—P. 13.
Mr. Bowman's remarks on this point are very important, and are deserving
of the most thoughtful consideration by all parties. They attach also to Owens College; and we see immediately the inconvenience of connecting ourselves with any academical institution over the arrangements of which we have not entire control.
It is, indeed, yet possible that by an undivided effort, by a concentration of all the strength of the liberal Dissenters of England, we may secure an excellent, if not a perfect, academical institution. But the difficulties in the way are very great. They have, we fear, been made almost insuperable by the independent course originally taken by the promoters of University Hall. Their success can now only be achieved by the absorption of the older institution into the new Hall. "If the Trustees of Manchester College are satisfied that University Hall will permanently ensure to their students the best attainable education, we have sufficient confidence in their wisdom and magnanimity to feel assured they will consent to sacrifice all their local prepossessions. But nothing must be taken for granted. Before the advantages of the present establishment are abandoned, it must be clearly proved that it will be succeeded by something better. Mr. Bowman's judgment must be remembered; if he is wrong in his conclusion, the error must be proved. He says,
“ Hitherto, the Presbyterian body has maintained a high reputation among the English Dissenters for sound learning. The success of our students at the examinations of the University shews that, on our present system, we are in no immediate danger of losing this distinction. But we most certainly should lose it if we had no other means of instruction for our students than those afforded by the classes of University College.”—P. 18.
Our readers will find a variety of other arguments adduced by Mr. Bowman in favour of the College remaining at Manchester. Into these we cannot now enter; and we the less regret it, as the consideration of some of them would involve us in controversy with friends whom we greatly value.
We deeply deplore the antagonism that has been created between the old College and the new Hall. Apart from the division of strength, we can see many reasons for, and many advantages in the latter, and we cannot but commend and admire the zeal and ability of its promoters.
In conclusion, we would say one word personal to the author of this very able pamphlet. Occupying the position of one of the Professors of Manchester New
College, he may seem scarcely disinterested in tendering his counsels to the Trustees. To an ungenerous mind such an objection will naturally occur. Mr. Bowman might have avoided furnishing a coarse opponent with such a weapon by publishing without his name. But, in such a case, his opinions would have lost much of their proper weight, and the gentlemen whose names are mentioned and whose arguments are criticised, might have complained that their critic was anonymous. We commend, therefore, his moral courage in publishing himself as the author of the "Remarks," and treating the objecțion with so manly a spirit (see p. 8). But if the alternative with the Trustees bę to connect their institution with the Owens or the University College, Mr. Bowman of course anticipates, equally in either case, the severance of the ties which now connect him with Manchester College. The only influence which can be supposed to sway him, is an earnest desire to secure for our students, and especially those designed for the ministry, a sound and complete education. Can Things be Better ? An Address to the Working Classes. By
H. J. Mathetes. THERE is conservative wisdom in some of the conclusions reached by the writer, who has assumed the name of Mathetes. He is a disciple of the Malthusian school, and endeavours to communicate some of the results of the science of political economy, and especially those which relate to class-interests, to his humble neighbours. We heartily sympathize in the author's desire to impress upon those around him, that there can be no lasting substitutes for individual effort and virtue, for industry and self-denial.
PERIODICALS. The Edinburgh Review, No. CLXXVI.-Notwithstanding some very promising subjects, the current No. of the Edinburgh is below the average. The article on the “Genius of Plato” is the most original and able in the No. It is imbued with intense admiration of the sage, yet is not wanting in discrimination. The influence of Plato's genius on Milton is well described by the reviewer, and we perhaps cannot quote a better or more interesting passage:
“Next to Homer and the inspired Hebrew poets, no author exercised a more powerful influence on the congenial sublimity of Milton's genius than Plato. Often in his poetry, but still oftener in his prose writings, is that influence conspicuously reflected. Both authors attain, perhaps more frequently than almost any others, that highest species of sublimity, the moral sublime; arresting and transfixing the soul by the naked majesty of lofty sentiments and purely spiritual abstractions, and steadily dispensing with material and palpable images. It is in such lines as those in which Milton speaks of the thoughts that wander through eternity,' or of the mind as its own place, which makes a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven,' that his muse soars to the highest pitch, and in which he truly 'unspheres the spirit of Plato.' Milton was keenly alive to the beauty of the outward world,--like 'the blind old man of Scio's rocky isle,'--and, Puritan though he was, as much so to the fascinat. ing associations connected with ecclesiastical architecture. Yet it was not this which made him the sublimest of all poets, but the far rarer power by which his imagination excelled in clothing principles of the simplest and severest character with all the grandeur of the most impressive eloquence, or the most splendid poetry. He who will read his wonderful description of the true office of a Chris. tian minister, in Book ii. Chap. 3 of the 'Reason of Church Government urged against Prelacy,' or of 'Excommunication,' both there and in the 2nd book of Reformation in England,' will readily concede this. Plato and Milton seem to have been alike in another respect, -in their defects as well as their excellences. For both have shewn themselves incapable of perceiving any thing but the truth of ultimate principles and the most comprehensive generalizations in morals, or of discerning the refractions' and deviations (as Burke would say) to which abstract principles are subject when they enter this atmosphere of earth; both were alike destitute of that practical sagacity which knows how to apply ethics to politics in our work-a-day world. In this point of view, “The Doctrine of Divorce, and the scheme of 'Education,' will stand about on the same level with Plato's most Uto. pian of all republics."-Pp. 335, 336, note.
“Coleridge and Southey” is brief, and far too slight an article on such a subject. The impossibility of keeping up the delusion in the public mind about Coleridge's morale is fully admitted. The undeserved and every way extravagant panegyrics of his idolaters will provoke a strong reaction. Parallel as the lives of Southey and Coleridge in some respects were, never did two men of genius present in their habits and character a stronger contrast. Southey resolutely industrious and performing more than he promised Coleridge dreaming away life in unfulfilled purposes, and from his youth upwards frittering away his character by the breach of every promise. Southey finding his happiness in the domestic hearth—Coleridge abandoning wife and children to the care of others, and passing nearly all his life and dying under another's roof. The reviewer frankly describes the early heretical tendency of the two men.
“Both had abjured university orthodoxy, and declared themselves Unitarians. Southey, who had gone to Oxford with a view to the Church, was now on the point of quitting it without a degree, because he had become an Unitarian. Coleridge had imbibed Unitarianism at Cambridge from Frend, who was a Fellow of his College, and he had narrowly escaped rustication the year before for shouting at Frend's trial.”
We give the passages that relate to Coleridge's Unitarian alliances :
“ In the beginning of 1796, he projected a weekly newspaper called the 'Watchman,' travelled to most of the chief towns in the manufacturing districts for subscribers, preaching wherever he stayed a Sunday in the Unitarian chapels, and returned to Bristol with a subscription-list full of promise.”-P. 377.
“In the beginning of 1798, he received an invitation to settle as an Unitarian minister at Shrewsbury. Thomas Wedgwood hearing of it, wrote to dissuade him, and sent him a present of a hundred pounds; but as the Shrewsbury invitation opened to him for the first time the prospect of a certain income, he determined to entertain it, -and returning to Wedgwood his cheque, he went off to Shrewsbury to preach the probation sermon. Among his auditors on that occasion was William Hazlitt, whose father was Unitarian minister at Wem, and who has published a vivid account of the delight and admiration which the sermon kindled in him. The impression was universal. But the Shrewsbury Unitarians were to be disappointed of their preacher; for the Wedgwoods, bent on securing Coleridge for literature, wrote to him at Shrewsbury, and offered him, if he would come back, an annuity of a hundred and fifty pounds for life. The offer was immediately and gratefully accepted.”—P. 379.
Respecting Southey, the reviewer's remarks are candid and just. How greatly is it to be regretted that so much of his writing was devoted to topics of necessity rather than choice, and that others were dictated by his political antipathies rather than his literary tastes ! We concur in the praise given to Southey’s letters, and anticipate a magnificent contribution to this interesting and rich department of English literature in the promised “Life and Letters of Southey.'
“His letters are the perfection of letter-writing, or nearly so-clear, lively, unaffected, largely dashed with humour, and entering into whatever he is writing or reading. But what is still more in his favour, he is not seen here as the fierce controversialist or uncharitable politician. On the contrary, the kind and friendly heart beams out continually from them; so that, while fresh from the perusal of them, our sympathy with his attachments disposes us to leave him a little more latitude for the capriciousness of his antipathies than of old, and we are willing to put a lenient construction upon those unpleasant faults of temper, and provoking prejudices and errors, into which people are pretty sure of falling when they shut themselves up with their women, their admirers and their books. "Am I the better or the worse,' he asks in one of his letters to Mr. Taylor, 'for growing alone like a single oak ?' In many respects worse, there can be no doubt. We meet in his letters with many a harsh criticism on contemporaries, of whom, if he had known them, he would have judged differently; and many broodings on political events, which he would have discarded, had he but come a little oftener to London, and let himself be hustled in its streets and contradicted at its dinner-tables. Such passages might have provoked us to anger, if we had still to deal with Southey living. But he is gone: the grave has closed over a writer and a man of whom England has reason to be proud, and our angry controversies are buried with him.” P. 369.
Art. 5, is entitled “Deaconesses or Protestant Sisterhoods." It first describes the Institute of Deaconesses or Protestant Sisters of Charity in Paris. The object of this pleasing association is to instruct and direct in the practice of active charity such Protestant women as desire to devote themselves to the relief of bodily and spiritual misery, and particularly to the care of the sick, the young and the poor. It has existed eight years, and was established by Rev. Antoine Vermeil, a minister of the Reformed French Church. It is a vast establishment, embracing education, physical relief and moral reformation, carried on severally in the Hospital, the School and the Penitentiary: It is scarcely credible that all these forms and modes of charity are carried into strikingly successful operation by a staff of only 18 sisters; one of them we are pleased to observe is an Englishwoman. The institution includes seven distinct yards or gardens, 127 rooms, 148 beds, of which upwards of 100 are nightly occupied, and 300 persons are daily received beneath its roof for purposes of instruction and relief. All this is done at a cost of about £3625 per annum, a large portion of which is contributed in direct payments by the persons benefitted or their friends.
The closing article on “The French Republicans,” though sensible, scarcely fulfils its promise of making the recent Revolution intelligible.
THE “HISTORY OF THE HEBREW MONARCHY.” SIR, You have recently laid before your readers a review of the History of the Hebrew Monarchy, and therefore are not likely to admit many remarks respecting it. Allow me, however, to offer one specimen of the unfair treatment to which it subjects the Jewish Scriptures,--a specimen which shews that if the author has an exact mind, he is so prejudiced and so strong in his hostility to the Bible, that he commits exaggerations and ventures on unwarranted statements. I choose the following instance, because it is complete in itself, lies within a small compass, and is nearly independent of the author's peculiar theories. The passage which I wish to notice is contained in the following quotation :-“The hewing of the cedar from Mount Lebanon discloses to us an important fact, that in the heart of Israel there existed a nation of bondmen liable to perform public works for King Solomon, just as of old the Israelites to King Pharaoh. As no Moses arose to rescue them, their wrongs and their sorrows are only to be guessed at from the cursory statements of their masters. The number of working slaves is estimated at 153,600-in a book (2 Chron. ii. 17) indeed prone to exaggeration--and 30,000 is given as the number actually kept at work at once. Our earlier and better authority may seem on the whole to confirm this, in reckoning the Hebrew overseers of the slaves as 550. Since the work done was in great measure that of mules,--to carry down the timber from the mountains,—and both in this and in mere hewing they may have been partially manacled, as among the Romans, it is perhaps not too much to suppose that one driver could overlook a gang of 50 or 60 slaves. It is remarkable that all the strangers in Israel are spoken of as liable to such service; yet there must have been exceptions. As the same word is used concerning the task-work of these slaves as concerning the Israelitish service in Egypt, there is no room for doubt as to their political and social position, and a consideration of all the circumstances may convince us that their bondage was a result of recent conquest... their persons being reduced to slavery formed the hapless multitude whose unheard groans supplied the raw materials of Solomon's glory."— Pp. 130, 131.
The animus of the extract is evident. Every effort is strained in order to make out a case against Solomon and the temple, the rather because the Hebrews ordinarily enjoy the reputation of dealing mercifully with their bondmen. Had this most prejudiced and unfair writer wished to throw discredit on the Scriptural narrative itself, he would, according to his ordinary mode of proceeding, have readily found materials for his purpose. “ The book of Kings,” he might have said, “ observes a discreet silence as to numbers, but the Chronicler wishing, after his fashion, to glorify Solomon, makes him to have had employed in one service not fewer than 153,600 slaves. Observe, too, that in Kings the number of overseers is 550, while the Chronicler, to suit his larger numbers, makes them amount to not fewer than 3600. If they were only 550, they could not have been 3600-- were they either the one or the other? The round number would justify our doubts, did not the discrepancy between the two accounts, and the impossibility of there being so large a body of adult male slaves in so small a population as that of Israel, make the whole story incredible. Then look at the given numbers. Neither 30,000 nor 550 is an exact multiple of 153,600. Besides, where could be the necessity for so huge a number of men to provide wood for so inconsiderable an edifice as the temple really was? And did not Hiram undertake to cut and convey to Joppa all the wood needed for the work ?” (2 Chron. ii. 16).
In this case, however, he admits the narrative as a credible witness. It is my business to consider the nature of the testimony which he hence extracts.