« AnteriorContinuar »
no centre of the living world, but one an immeasurable series of predecessors. amidst endless modifications of life; (690 Moreover, every step they have made in and as the astronomer observes the mark natural knowledge has tended to extend of practically endless time set upon the and rivet in their minds the conception arrangements of the solar system, so the of a definite order of the universe which student of life finds the records of ancient is embodied in what are called, by an unforms of existence peopling the world for happy metaphor, the laws of Nature and ages, which, in relation to human expe- to narrow the range and loosen the 1750 rience, are infinite.
force of men's belief in spontaneity, or Furthermore, the physiologist finds life in changes other than such as arise out to be as dependent for its manifestation on of that definite order itself. particular molecular arrangements as 1700 Whether these ideas are well or ill any physical or chemical phenomenon; and founded is not the question. No one wherever he extends his researches, fixed or- can deny that they exist, and have been der and unchanging causation reveal them- the inevitable outgrowth of the improveselves, as plainly as in the rest of Nature. ment of natural knowledge. And if so, it
Nor can I find that any other fate has cannot be doubted that they are changing awaited the germ of Religion. Arising, the form of men's most cherished and (760 like all other kinds of knowledge, out of most important convictions. the action and interaction of man's mind, with that which is not man's mind, it And as regards the second point-the has taken the intellectual coverings of (710 extent to which the improvement of Fetishism or Polytheism; of Theism or natural knowledge has remodelled and Atheism; of Superstition or Rationalism. altered what may be termed the intelWith these, and their relative merits and lectual ethics of men,-what are among the demerits, I have nothing to do; but this moral convictions most fondly held by it is needful for my purpose to say, that barbarous and semi-barbarous people? if the religion of the present differs from They are the convictions that authority that of the past, it is because the theology is the soundest basis of belief; that (770 of the present has become more scientific merit attaches to a readiness to believe; than that of the past; because it has not that the doubting disposition is a bad one, only renounced idols of wood and (720 and scepticism a sin; that when good auidols of stone, but begins to see the neces- thority has pronounced what is to be sity of breaking in pieces the idols built believed, and faith has accepted it, reason up of books and traditions and finespun ec- has no further duty. There are many exclesiastical cobwebs: and of cherishing the cellent persons who yet hold by these noblest and most human of man's emotions, principles, and it is not my present busiby worship "for the most part of the silent ness, or intention, to discuss their views. sort" at the altar of the Unknown. All I wish to bring clearly before your (780
Such are a few of the new conceptions minds is the unquestionable fact, that the implanted in our minds by the improve- improvement of natural knowledge is efment of natural knowledge. Men (730 fected by methods which directly give the have acquired the ideas of the practically lie to all these convictions, and assume infinite extent of the universe and of its the exact reverse of each to be true. practical eternity; they are familiar with The improver of natural knowledge the conception that our earth is but an absolutely refuses to acknowledge auinfinitesimal fragment of that part of the thority, as such. For him, scepticism is universe which can be seen; and that, the highest of duties; blind faith the one nevertheless, its duration is, as compared unpardonable sin. And it cannot be (790 with our standards of time, infinite. They otherwise, for every great advance in have further acquired the idea that natural knowledge has involved the abman is but one of innumerable forms (740 solute rejection of authority, the cherishof life now existing on the globe, and that ing of the keenest scepticism, the annihilathe present existences are but the last of tion of the spirit of blind faith; and the most ardent votary of science holds his as “health," as used with reference to firmest convictions, not because the men the animal frame, and “virtue," with he most venerates hold them; not because reference to our moral nature. I am not their verity is testified by portents and able to find such a term;-talent, ability, wonders; but because his experience (800 genius, belong distinctly to the raw mateaches him that whenever he chooses terial, which is the subject-matter, (10 to bring these convictions into contact not to that excellence which is the result with their primary source, Nature of exercise and training. When we turn, whenever he thinks fit to test them by indeed, to the particular kinds of intelappealing to experiment and to observa- lectual perfection, words are forthcoming tion-Nature will confirm them. The man for our purpose, as, for instance, judgof science has learned to believe in justi- | ment, taste, and skill; yet even these fication, not by faith, but by verification. belong, for the most part, to powers or
Thus, without for a moment pretend- habits bearing upon practice or upon art, ing to despise the practical results of (810 and not to any perfect condition of the improvement of natural knowledge, and intellect, considered in itself. Wisdom, (20 its beneficial influence on material civiliza- again, is certainly a more comprehensive tion, it must, I think, be admitted that word than any other, but it has a direct the great ideas, some of which I have relation to conduct, and to human life. indicated, and the ethical spirit which Knowledge, indeed, and science, express I have endeavored to sketch, in the few purely intellectual ideas, but still not a moments which remained at my disposal, state or quality of the intellect; for knowlconstitute the real and permanent sig- edge, in its ordinary sense, is but one of nificance of natural knowledge.
its circumstances, denoting a possession If these ideas be destined, as I be- (820 or a habit; and science has been approlieve they are, to be more and more firmly priated to the subject-matter of the 130 established as the world grows older; intellect, instead of belonging in English, if that spirit be fated, as I believe it is, as it ought to do, to the intellect itself. to extend itself into all departments The consequence is that, on an occasion of human thought, and to become co- like this, many words are necessary, in extensive with the range of knowledge; order, first, to bring out and convey what if, as our race approaches its maturity, it surely is no difficult idea in itself,--that of discovers, as I believe it will, that there the cultivation of the intellect as an end; is but one kind of knowledge and but one next, in order to recommend what surely method of acquiring it; then we, who (830 is no unreasonable object; and lastly, to are still children, may justly feel it our describe and make the mind realize (40 highest duty to recognize the advisable
the particular perfection in which that ness of improving natural knowledge, and object consists. Every one knows pracso to aid ourselves and our successors tically what are the constituents of health in our
course towards the noble goal or of virtue; and every one recognizes which lies before mankind.
health and virtue as ends to be pursued; it is otherwise with intellectual excel
lence, and this must be my excuse, if I JOHN HENRY, CARDINAL NEWMAN
seem to anyone to be bestowing a good (1801-1890)
deal of labor on a preliminary matter.
In default of a recognized term, I (50 THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY
have called the perfection or virtue of DISCOURSE VI
the intellect by the name of philosophy, KNOWLEDGE
philosophical knowledge, enlargement of LEARNING
mind, or illumination; terms which are It were well if the English, like the not uncommonly given to it by writers Greek language, possessed some definite of this day: but, whatever name we beword to express, simply and generally, stow on it, it is, I believe, as a matter intellectual proficiency or perfection, such of history, the business of a university
to make this intellectual culture its di- of the intellect is an end distinct and rect scope, or to employ itself in the (60 sufficient in itself, and that, so far as education of the intellect,-just as the words go, it is an enlargement or illumiwork of a hospital lies in healing the sick | nation, I proceed to inquire what this or wounded, of a riding or fencing school, mental breath, or power, or light, or phior of a gymnasium, in exercising the losophy consists in. A hospital heals a limbs, of an almshouse, in aiding and broken limb or cures a fever: what does solacing the old, of an orphanage, in an institution effect, which professes (120 protecting innocence, of a penitentiary, the health, not of the body, not of the in restoring the guilty. I say, a univer- soul, but of the intellect? What is this sity, taken in its bare idea, and before good, which in former times, as well as we view it as an instrument of the (70 our own, has been found worth the notice, church, has this object and this mission; the appropriation, of the Catholic Church? it contemplates neither moral impression nor mechanical production; it professes to exercise the mind neither in art nor in I suppose the prima-facie view which duty; its function is intellectual culture; the public at large would take of a unihere it may leave its scholars, and it has versity, considering it as a place of educadone its work when it has done as much tion, is nothing more or less than a place as this. It educates the intellect to reason for acquiring a great deal of knowl- (130 well in all matters, to reach out towards edge on a great many subjects. Memory truth, and to grasp it.
(80 is one of the first developed of the menThis, I said in my foregoing discourse, tal faculties;
tal faculties; a boy's business when he was the object of a university, viewed in goes to school is to learn, that is, to store itself, and apart from the Catholic Church, up things in his memory. For some years or from the state, or from any other his intellect is little more than an instrupower which may use it; and I illustrated ment for taking in facts, or a receptacle this in various ways. I said that the for storing them; he welcomes them as intellect must have an excellence of its fast as they come to him; he lives on what own, for there was nothing which had not is without; he has his eyes ever about (140 its specific good; that the word “educate" him; he has a lively susceptibility of would not be used of intellectual cul- 190 impressions; he imbibes information of ture, as it is used, had not the intellect every kind; and little does he make his had an end of its own; that, had it not own in a true sense of the word, living such an end, there would be no meaning rather upon his neighbors all around in calling certain intellectual exercises . him. He has opinions, religious, political "liberal,” in contrast with “useful,” as and literary, and, for a boy, is very posiis commonly done; that the very notion tive in them and sure about them; but he of a philosophical temper implied it, for gets them from his schoolfellows, or his it threw us back upon research and sys- masters, or his parents, as the case (150 tem as ends in themselves, distinct from may be. Such as he is in his other relaeffects and works of any kind; that a (100 tions, such also is he in his school exerphilosophical scheme of knowledge, or cises; his mind is observant, sharp, ready, system of sciences, could not, from the retentive; he is almost passive in the nature of the case, issue in any one acquisition of knowledge. I say this in definite art or pursuit, as its end; and no disparagement of the idea of a clever that, on the other hand, the discovery and boy. Geography, chronology, history, contemplation of truth, to which research language, natural history, he heaps up and systematizing led, were surely suf- the matter of these studies as treasures ficient ends, though nothing beyond them for a future day.
for a future day. It is the seven (160 were added, and that they had ever been years of plenty with him: he gathers in accounted sufficient by mankind. (110 by handfuls, like the Egyptians, without
Here then I take up the subject; and, counting; and though, as time goes on, having determined that the cultivation there is exercise for his argumentative powers in the elements of mathematics, and then his popularity drops as suddenly and for his taste in the poets and orators, as it rose.
1220 still, while at school, or at least till quite Knowledge, then, is the indispensable the last years of his time, he acquires, condition of expansion of mind, and the and little more; and when he is leaving instrument of attaining to it; this canfor the university, he is mainly the (170 not be denied; it is ever to be insisted on; creature of foreign influences and circum- I begin with it as a first principle; howstances, and made up of accidents, homo- ever, the very truth of it carries men too geneous or not, as the case may be. far, and confirms to them the notion that Moreover, the moral habits, which are it is the whole of the matter. A narrow a boy's praise, encourage and assist this mind is thought to be that which contains result; that is, diligence, assiduity, regu- little knowledge; and an enlarged (230 larity, despatch, persevering application; mind, that which holds a great deal; and for these are the direct conditions of ac- what seems to put the matter beyond quisition, and naturally lead to it. Ac- dispute is the fact of the great number of quirements, again, are emphatically (180 studies which are pursued in a university, producible, and at a moment; they are a by its very profession. Lectures are something to show, both for master and
given on every kind of subject; examinascholar; an audience, even though igno- tions are held; prizes awarded. There rant themselves of the subjects of an are moral, metaphysical, physical proexamination, can comprehend when ques- fessors; professors of languages, of his tions are answered and when they are tory, of mathematics, of experimental (240 not. Here again is a reason why mental science. Lists of questions are published, culture is in the minds of men identified wonderful for their range and depth, variwith the acquisition of knowledge. ety and difficulty; treatises are written,
The same notion possesses the (190 which carry upon their very face the evipublic mind, when it passes on from the dence of extensive reading or multifarious thought of a school to that of a university: information; what then is wanting for and with the best of reasons so far as this, mental culture to a person of large readthat there is no true culture without ing and scientific attainments? what is acquirements, and that philosophy pre- grasp of mind but acquirement? where supposes knowledge. It requires a great shall philosophical repose be found, (250 . deal of reading, or a wide range of in- but in the consciousness and enjoyment formation, to warrant us in putting forth of large intellectual possessions? our opinions on any serious subject; and And yet this notion is, I conceive, a without such learning the most ori- (200 mistake, and my present business is to ginal mind may be able indeed to dazzle, show that it is one, and that the end of to amuse, to refute, to perplex, but not to a liberal education is not mere knowlcome to any useful result or any trust- edge, or knowledge considered in its worthy conclusion. There are indeed matter; and I shall best attain my object, persons who profess a different view of by actually setting down some cases, the matter, and even act upon it. Every which will be generally granted to be (260 now and then you will find a person of instances of the process of enlightenment vigorous or fertile mind, who relies upon or enlargement of mind, and others which his own resources, despises all former are not, and thus, by the comparison, you authors, and gives the world, with (210 will be able to judge for yourselves, genthe utmost fearlessness, his views upon tlemen, whether knowledge, that is, acreligion, or history, or any other popular quirement, is after all the real principle subject. And his works may sell for a of the enlargement, or whether that prinwhile; he may get a name in his day; but ciple is not rather something beyond it. this will be all. His readers are sure to For instance, let a person, whose exfind on the long run that his doctrines are perience has hitherto been confined (270 mere theories, and not the expression of to the more calm and unpretending facts, that they are chaff instead of bread, scenery of these islands, whether here or
in England, go for the first time into over them, which before it did not posparts where physical nature puts on her wilder and more awful forms, whether And in like manner, what is called at home or abroad, as into mountainous seeing the world, entering into active (330 districts; or let one, who has ever lived in life, going into society, traveling, gaina quiet village, go for the first time to a ing acquaintance with the various classes great metropolis,-then I suppose he will of the community, coming into contact have a sensation which perhaps he (280 with the principles and modes of thought never had before. He has a feeling not in of various parties, interests, and races, addition or increase of former feelings, their views, aims, habits and manners, but of something different in its nature. their religious creeds and forms of worship, He will perhaps be borne forward, and -gaining experience how various yet how find for a time that he has lost his bear- alike men are, how low-minded, how bad, ings. He has made a certain progress, how opposed, yet how confident in (340 and he has a consciousness of mental their opinions; all this exerts a perceptible enlargement; he does not stand where he influence upon the mind, which it is imposdid, he has a new center, and a range of sible to mistake, be it good or be it bad, thoughts to which he was before a 290 and is popularly called its enlargement. stranger.
And then again, the first time the mind Again, the view of the heavens which comes across the arguments and speculathe telescope opens upon us, if allowed tions of unbelievers, and feels what a to fill and possess the mind, may almost novel light they cast upon what he has whirl it around and make it dizzy. It
It hitherto accounted sacred; and still more, brings in a flood of ideas, and is rightly if it gives in to them and embraces (350 called an intellectual enlargement, what- them, and throws off as so much prejever is meant by the term.
udice what it has hitherto held, and, as And so again, the sight of beasts of prey if waking from a dream, begins to realize and other foreign animals, their (300
their (300 to its imagination that there is now no strangeness, the originality (if I may use such thing as law and the transgression the term) of their forms and gestures of law, that sin is a phantom, and punishand habits, and their variety and inde- ment a bugbear, that it is free to sin, free pendence of each other, throw us out of to enjoy the world and the flesh; and still ourselves into another creation, and as further, when it does enjoy them, and if under another Creator, if I may so reflects that it may think and hold [360 express the temptation which may come just what it will, that "the world is all on the mind. We seem to have new before it where to choose," and what sysfaculties, or a new exercise for our facul- tem to build up as its own private perties, by this addition to our knowl- 1310 suasion; when this torrent of wilful edge; like a prisoner, who, having been thoughts rushes over and inundates it, accustomed to wear manacles or fetters, who will deny that the fruit of the tree suddenly finds his arms and legs free. of knowledge, or what the mind takes
Hence physical science generally, in for knowledge, has made it one of the all its departments, as bringing before gods, with a sense of expansion and us the exuberant riches and resources, elevation,-an intoxication in reality, 1370 yet the orderly course, of the universe, still, so far as the subjective state of elevates and excites the student, and at the mind goes, an illumination? Hence first, I may say, almost takes away his the fanaticism of individuals or nations, breath, while in time it exercises á (320 who suddenly cast off their Maker. Their tranquilizing influence upon him.
eyes are opened; and, like the judgmentAgain, the study of history is said to stricken king in the tragedy, they see two enlarge and enlighten the mind; and suns, and a magic universe, out of which why? because, as I conceive, it gives it a they look back upon their former state power of judging of passing events, and of faith and innocence with a sort of of all events, and a conscious superiority contempt and indignation, as if they (380