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objects of their existence, confer any of their offices upon a man who decidedly and openly dissents from the doctrines of the church? This question is answered by Professor Monk, in the most satisfactory and conclusive manner.
• The dissenters I sincerely respect for their sincerity, and deeply lament their conscientious separation from us. At the same time I shall not conceal my decided conviction that it is our duty, so long as that disagreement continues, to keep the doors of the universities closed against them. These public institutions have hitherto been the surest supports of the national church, which can never be so effectually shaken, as by introducing open and active hostility to her doctrines into the seats of national education.'— It is to the Church Establishment that we owe our endowments, our privileges, our immunities, and every other advantage that we enjoy. Can he, therefore, wonder at a reluctance to invest him with on office of rank and influence amongst us, in open and declared defiance of those provisions which, for above two hundred years, have been judged necessary to protect the establishment ?"
- I have been able to hear one, and only one argument in his favour; it is this : that the subject which he wishes to teach to the university, is not divinity but botany; in which pursuit a person's theological creed can be of no consequence. To this reasoning it must be replied, that those who, in a particular case, establish a precedent for the admission of dissenters to offices in the university, will be answerable for all the results to which that precedent may lead. We may expect that one of the first results will be, the abolition of subscription at taking degrees, which cannot, in that event, reasonably and consistently be refused : the inevitable consequence of this, the introduction of dissenters of every description to fellowships, and the various offices of tuition in the different colleges, is a matter which no friend of our establishment can contemplate without most serious alarm.'
The universities are the nurseries which supply nearly the whole kingdom with spiritual instructors; and to intrude upon either of them a maintainer of heretical opinions, would be indeed casting a firebrand into the sanctuary. The integrity and respectability of the establishment must depend, in a very great degree, upon the character and conduct of those bodies; and any innovation in her discipline (under which term we include all the regulations necessary to preserve purity of faith and practice) will soon be followed by a corresponding laxity of doctrine. •Pelagianism and Socinianism,' says Soutb, with several other heterodoxies cognate to, and dependent upon them, which of late with so much confidence and scandalous countenance walk about, daring the world, are certainly no doctrines of the church of England. And none are abler and fitter to make them appear what they are, and whither they tend, than our excellent and so well stocked universities; and if they will but bestir themselves against all innovators whatsoever, it will quickly be seen, that our church needs none either to fill her places,
or to defend her doctrines, but the sons whom she herself has brought forth and bred up. So long as the universities are sound and orthodox, the church has both her eyes open; and while she bas so, 'tis to be hoped that she will look about her, and consider again and again what she is to change from, and what she must change to, and where she shall make an end of changing, before she quits her present constitution.'
Sir James is pleased to term Oxford, xat' štoxviv, the orthodox University; and argues thus, that if Dr. Sibthorp's executors entrusted to him (Sir James) the publication of the Flora Græca, and no objections were raised by that orthodox university,' Cambridge, as being less orthodox, has no right to object to him for her botanical professor. Botany and Logic, it seems, are not sister sciences; at least there is sometimes a family quarrel. Some arguments are too silly to be refuted: but upon the question of comparative orthodoxy, we are bound in justice to transcribe the Professor's reply:
• In steady and sincere attachment to the church, no persons were ever
more distinguished, than our university has been, from the date of the Reformation to the present day. Let it not be forgotten, that the establishment may be said to have owed its very origin to this place. Cranmer, and Ridley, and Latimer, the fathers of our church, were Fellows of colleges in Cambridge. The first five protestant Archbishops of Canterbury, under whose superintendence it was settled and secured upon its present footing, and to whom it would be unjust to deny much of the praise due to that great work, were taken in succession from the bosom of this university. In the time of the Long Parliament, as before noticed, the greater part of the members of our colleges exhibited the strongest possible proof of their sincere devotion to the Church of England, by resigning their whole maintenance, and by preferring indigence and beggary, to apostasy from their principles and their spiritual allegiance. Some years afterwards, this university braved the full vengeance of arbitrary power, by resisting, under the most trying circumtances, the mandate of James II.; which, though not attacking its own mmediate privileges, yet was obviously one of a series of measures designed overthrow the ecclesiastical constitution. From that time to the present, we shall find, that Cambridge has been steady and undeviating, in her support of our apostolic faith, and in the discouragement of heterodoxy. The number and eminence of her divines are too well known, to require notice. On every occasion, where any measure has been proposed, tending to the real benefit of the establishment, she has aided it, not only by her name and authority, but by the liberal and unsparing exertions, both public and private, of her pecuniary resources. Her zeal has, perhaps, never been ostentations, and has been shown less in profession than in action; above all, she has never displayed the least tendency to uncharitable or unnecessary strictness, But Sir James will find himself lamentably deceived, if he expects, on
this account, to meet with indifference and lukewarmness in the cause of religion, or with any disposition to suffer inroads upon the real defences of the establishment.'--pp. 59–61.
To say that the theological tenets of a professor of botany are of no importance is the assertion of foolish or designing men. There is no imaginable subject, and least of all in natural history, in which lectures might not be so devised, as to insinuate the peculiar religious opinions of the lecturer. Would Buffon have been withholden from detailing and illustrating, to a youthful audience, his fauciful theory, by any apprehension of weakening their belief in the Scriptures ? Is it not a fact that, at the present moment, lectures may be heard on subjects not immediately connected with religion, in which the faith of the unexperienced hearer is assailed by the insinuations of a half-discovered infidelity? And is a protestant university, the depositary and guardian of the national religion, who boasts, amongst her brightest ornaments, a Pearson and a Barrow, to be compelled, by the virulence of disappointed vanity, to seat an acknowledged Socinian in her Professor's chair? Let us hope better things. The University, we doubt not, will sanction the judicious and spirited conduct of the eighteen tutors who opposed the first attempt at an unstatutable, and, we will venture to say, audacious innovation. Indeed the question, we believe, is nearly set at rest, by the able pamphlet of Professor Monk, which Sir James Smith has suffered to reach a second edition unanswered. The narrow prejudices' which he talks of (that is to say, attachment to the Church of England) are too powerful at Cambridge to leave him much hope of success; what little chance he might have had, has been completely destroyed by his publication, which abounds with gratuitous assumptions, mistated facts, and, we are compelled to add, incorrect assertions. It grieves us to say such things of a man distinguished for scientific acquirements ; but he has drawn it upon himself. Had he been contented to be only his own panegyrist, and to class himself with Erasmus and Newton, and to talk of the free and lofty range which he had taken,' and
the spontaneous offers of support which flowed in from entire strangers on the ground of his scientific character,' we might have smiled, but it would not have been in anger. We should have applied to him, what he himself has elsewhere said of Linnæus, · If it be unbecoming, and indeed highly ridiculous in many instances, for a man to speak as he does of himself, the justice and accuracy of his assertions, had they come from any other person, could in no case be disputed.' But when be vilifies all those who disapprove of his pretensions, and charges a most able and conscientious body of men, who are entrusted with the education of the nobility and gentry of England, with ignorance, presumption,
hostility to science, and malignity,' he forfeits all claim to that indulgence which his acknowledged merits would otherwise have demanded. He who has stepped out of his way to impute the want of a due regard to the principles of justice and truth to an amiable and respectable man, who held the Regius Professorship of physic for twenty years, and is now gone to a tribunal whose decision Sir James ought not to have anticipated, exposes himself to all the severity of impartial criticism. An undue opinion of his own merits naturally leads a man to depreciate the moral as well as the intellectual qualifications of his opponents; but the dead should be spoken of with candour, if not with tenderness; Où yap écond κατθανούσι κερτομείν επ' ανδράσιν, was the remark of the most virulent of poets. We cannot refrain froin mentioning one circumstance which is singularly at variance with Sir James's representation of the eagerness that exists at Cambridge for botanical information. • It is customary,' Professor Monk informs us, “ for persons, who propose to attend public lectures, to write their names previously upon a board prepared for the purpose-but in spite of the celebrity of the lectures given at the Royal Institution, the “ hungry flock," which was on this occasion disappointed of its repast, consisted of the Vice-Chancellor, and only four or five other persons.'
We now dismiss the subject, which our readers perhaps may think that we have considered more at length than its apparent importance required. But the fact is, that in its ultimate bearings the question is one of the last consequence. Upon the system of instruction pursued in our Universities depends, in a very considerable degree, our national character, in point of religious belief as well as of intellectual acquirements. Attempts have been repeatedly made in our Universities to break down the barriers which were erected to maintain purity in faith and discipline; but they have hitherto been defeated by the steadiness and consistency of the bodies at large. We trưst that they will ever preserve their proper and constitutional character of church of England seminaries, in spite of the lamentations of Jeremy Bentham and the sarcasms of Mr. Brougham. Only let the tutors and heads of houses bear in mind that their zeal for the cause of truth must not evaporate in remonstrances against the introduction of aliens. Their first and most sacred duty is to initiate the youth committed to their care into the doctrines and duties of Christianity; and it will profit but little to guard against the intrusion of dissenters, if they are not careful to supply abundance of sound and orthodox instruction. Precept upon precept, and line upon line should be directed to the grand object of making the academic youth rational, and conscientious, and virtuous members of our national church. If this be neglected—if the honours of the University be conferred solely upon proficiency in
mere human literature, we scruple not to say, that the great ends of its institution are not answered. The youthful mind will be exercised in the subtlety of metaphysical disquisitions, and habituated to require the accuracy of mathematical demonstration, before it is taught to discern the proper and legitimate province of reason in matters of religion, or to estimate the real value of those grounds of probability, upon which the truth of the Gospel rests. The resident members of one university will understand the allusion contained in these remarks. We trust that they will persevere in their endeavours to make religious knowledge a prominent feature of academical instruction, and to take away from their adversaries a great occasion of gainsaying.
Art. XI. A Reply to the Quarterly Review on the New Trans
lation of the Bible from the original Hebrew. By John Bellamy, Author of the History of all Religions. Svo. London. 1818.
HEN we lately undertook to examine Mr. Bellamy's New
Translation of the Bible, we found not only that proofs of his utter incompetence to the task crowded upon us at every step, but that his bold pretension of making new discoveries as to the meaning of the plainest passages of the Bible, tended to shake the confidence of the public in the certainty of received scriptural interpretations. In consequence, we felt ourselves called upon to explain, without disguise, the grounds of the opinion which we were led to form respecting this writer and his work. At the same time,
had no wish unnecessarily to wound his feelings, and were therefore desirous of abstaining from the exposure of his blunders to a greater extent than appeared to be required by a just regard to truth and to our public duty.
Whatever may have been the effect of these strictures on our readers, (and we are much mistaken if this be at all doubtful,) their influence on the author himself has not been that which we intended. Instead of teaching him to estimate more justly his qualifications as a biblical critic and translator, they have operated in a most unfortunate manner on the irritability of his temper; and given birth to a · Reply,' in which he assails us with the most opprobrious epithets, and boldly contends that we are advocating the cause of errror.
Under these circumstances, we find ourselves compelled to revert to a subject which we thought was set at rest, and to adduce some further confirmation of the opinion already stated respecting this