John Henry Newman.

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THE SCOPE & NATURE OF
-UNIVERSITY EDUCATION

By
John Henry Cardinal Newman

Edited by

A. R. Waller




I9B 3

* * *



LONDON: J. M. DENT & CO.

29 & 30, Bedford Street, Covent Garden

W.C.



Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON &* Co.
At the Ballantyne Press



Hospes eram, et collegistls Me.



IN GRATEFUL NEVER-DYING REMEMBRANCE
OF HIS MANY FRIENDS AND BENEFACTORS,

LIVING AND DEAD,

AT HOME AND ABROAD,

IN IRELAND, GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE,

IN BELGIUM, GERMANY, POLAND, ITALY, AND MALTA,

IN NORTH AMERICA, AND OTHER COUNTRIES,

WHO, BY THEIR RESOLUTE PRAYERS AND PENANCES,

AND BY THEIR GENEROUS STUBBORN EFFORTS,

AND BY THEIR MUNIFICENT ALMS,

HAVE BROKEN FOR HIM THE STRESS

OF A GREAT ANXIETY,

THESE DISCOURSES,

OFFERED TO OUR LADY AND ST. PHILIP ON ITS RISE,

COMPOSED UNDER ITS PRESSURE,

FINISHED ON THE EVE OF ITS TERMINATION,

ARE RESPECTFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED



BY THE AUTHOR.



IN FEST. PRJESENT.

B. M. V.
NOV. 21, 1852



247737

v



ADVERTISEMENT

THE following Discourses were written for delivery
before Catholic audiences in Dublin in the year 1852,
preparatory to the Author's taking upon himself the
honourable and responsible office of Rector of the new
Irish Catholic University. They belong to a time,
when he was tried both by sorrow and by anxiety,
and by indisposition also, and required a greater effort
to write, and gave him less satisfaction when written,
than any of his Volumes. He has in this new Edition
attempted in some respects to remedy what he feels to
be their imperfection. He has removed from the text
much temporary, collateral, or superfluous matter, and
has thus reduced it to the size of his two other volumes
on University Teaching, and that with advantage, as
he conceives, both to the force, and to the clearness
of his argument.

Nov. 9, 1859.



********



CONTENTS



PAGB

PREFACE ....... ix



DISCOURSE I
THEOLOGY A BRANCH OF KNOWLEDGE . . i

DISCOURSE II

BEARING OF THEOLOGY ON OTHER BRANCHES

OF KNOWLEDGE . 34

DISCOURSE III

BEARING OF OTHER BRANCHES OF KNOWLEDGE

ON THEOLOGY 62

DISCOURSE IV

LIBERAL KNOWLEDGE ITS OWN END . . 90 V

DISCOURSE V

LIBERAL KNOWLEDGE VIEWED IN RELATION TO

LEARNING . . . . . . 116 \J

vii



CONTENTS



DISCOURSE VI

PAGE

LIBERAL KNOWLEDGE VIEWED IN RELATION TO

PROFESSIONAL . . . . . 144

DISCOURSE VII

LIBERAL KNOWLEDGE VIEWED IN RELATION TO

RELIGION . . . . . 173

DISCOURSE VIII

DUTIES OF THE CHURCH TOWARDS LIBERAL

KNOWLEDGE ' . . . . 207

NOTE . . . . . . . -235

A LIST OF DATES IN CARDINAL NEWMAN'S LIFE 237
NOTES ....... 239



* X
*

X



Vlll




PREFACE

view which these Discourses take of a
University is of the following kind : hat
ilJs^^La5.Q.Qj^c6ifi^ufiiver-al knowledge.
This implies that its object is, on the one hand, intel-
lectual, not moral ; and, on the other, that it is the
diffusion and extension of knowledge rather than the
advancement. If its object were scientific and philo-
sophical discovery, I do not see why a University
should have students ; if religious training, I do not
see how it can be the seat of literature and science.

Such is a University in its essence, and independently
of its relation to the Church. But, practically speak-
ing, it cannot fulfil its object duly, such as I have
described it, without the Qmrch's assistance; or, to
use the theological term, the Church is necessary for
its integrity. Not that its main characters are changed
by this incorporation : it still has the office of intel-
lectual education ; but the Church steadies it in the
performance of that office.

Such, are the main principles of the Discourses
which follow ; though it would be unreasonable for
me to expect that I have treated so large and im-
portant a field of thought with the fulness and precision
necessary to secure me from incidental misconceptions
of my meaning on the part of the reader. It is true,
there is nothing novel or singular in the argument



HREFACE



which I have been pursuing, but this does not protect
me from such misconceptions ; for the very circum-
stance that the views I have been delineating are not
original with me may lead to false notions as to my
relations in opinion towards those from whom I
happened in the first instance to learn them, and
may cause me to be interpreted by the objects or
sentiments of schools to which I should be simply
opposed.

For instance, some persons may be tempted to
complain that I have servilely followed the English
idea of a University, to the disparagement of that
Knowledge which I profess to be so strenuously up-
holding ; and they may anticipate that an academical
system, formed upon my model, will result in nothing
better or higher than in the production of that anti-
quated variety of human nature and remnant of
feudalism called " a gentleman." 1 Now, I have
anticipated this charge in various parts of my
discussion ; if, however, any Catholic is found to
prefer it (and to Catholics of course this Volume
is addressed), I would have him first of all ask
himself the previous question, what he conceives to be
the reason contemplated by the Holy See in recom-
mending just now to the Irish Church the establish-
ment of a Catholic University ? Has the Supreme
Pontiff recommended it for the sake of the Sciences,
which are to be the matter, or rather of the Students,
who are to be the subjects, of its teaching ? Has
he any obligation or duty at all towards secular
knowledge as such ? Would it become his Apos-
tolical Ministry, and his descent from the Fisherman,

1 Vid. Huber's " English Universities," London, 1843,
vol. ii., part i, pp. 321, &c.

x



PREFACE

to have a zeal for the Baconian or other philosophy of
man for its own sake ? Is the Vicar of Christ bound
by office or by vow to be the preacher of the theory
of gravitation, or a martyr for electro-magnetism ?
Would he be acquitting himself of the dispensation
committed to him if he were smitten with an abstract
love of these matters, however true, or beautiful, or
ingenious, or useful ? Or rather, does he not con-
template such achievements of the intellect, as far as he
contemplates them, solely and simply in their relation
to the interests of Revealed Truth ? Surely, what he
does he does for the sake of Religion ; if he looks
with satisfaction on strong temporal governments,
which promise perpetuity, it is for the sake of Reli-
gion ; and if he encourages and patronises art and
science, it is for the sake of Religion. He rejoices
in the widest and most philosophical systems of intel-
lectual education, from an intimate conviction that
Truth is his real ally, as it is his profession ; and
that Knowledge and Reason are sure ministers to
Faith.

This being undeniable, it is plain that, when he sug-
gests to the Irish Hierarchy the establishment of a
University, his first and chief and direct object is, not
science, art, professional skill, literature, the discovery
of knowledge, but some benefit or other, by means
of literature and science, to his own children ; not
indeed their formation on any narrow or fantastic
type, as, for instance, that of an " English Gentleman "
may be called, but their exercise and growth in certain
habits, moral or intellectual. Nothing short of this
can be his aim, if, as becomes the Successor of the
Apostles, he is to be able to say with St. Paul,
" Non judicavi me scire aliquid inter vos, nisi Jesum
xi



PREFACE



Christum, et hunc crucifixum." Just as a commander
wishes to have tall and well-formed and vigorous
soldiers, not from any abstract devotion to the mili-
tary standard of height or age, but for the purposes of
war, and no one thinks it anything but natural and
praiseworthy in him to be contemplating, not abstract
qualities, but his own living and breathing men ; so, in
like manner, when the Church founds a University, she
is not cherishing talent, genius, or knowledge, for their
own sake, but for the sake of her children, with a
view to their spiritual welfare and their religious influ-
ence and usefulness, with the object of training them
to fill their respective posts in life better, and of making
them more intelligent, capable, active members of
society.

Nor can it justly be said that in thus acting she
sacrifices Science, and under a pretence of fulfilling
the duties of her mission, perverts a University from its
proper end, as soon as it is taken into account that
there are other institutions far more suited to act as
instruments of stimulating philosophical inquiry, and
extending the boundaries of our knowledge, than a
University. Such, for instance, are the literary and
scientific " Academies," which are so celebrated in
Italy and France, and which have frequently been
connected with Universities, as committees, or, as it
were, congregations or delegacies subordinate to them.
Thus the present Royal Society orginated in Charles
the Second's time, in Oxford ; such just now are the
Ashmolean and Architectural Societies in the same
seat of learning, which have risen in our own time.
Such, too, is the British Association, a migratory
body, which at least at times is found in the halls of
the Protestant Universities of the United Kingdom,
xii



PREFACE



and the faults of which lie, not in its exclusive de-
votion to science, but in graver matters which it is
irrelevant here to enter upon. Such again is the Anti-
quarian Society, the Royal Academy for the Fine
Arts, and others which might be mentioned. This,
then, is the sort of institution, which primarily con-
templates Science itself, and not students ; and, in
thus speaking, I am saying nothing of my own, being
supported by no less an authority than Cardinal Gerdil.
" Ce n'est pas," he says, " qu'il y ait aucune veritable
opposition entre 1'esprit des Academies et celui des
Universites ; ce sont seulement des vues difFerentes.
Les Universites sont etablies pour enseigner les sciences
aux e/eves qui veulent s'y former ; les Academies se
proposent de nouvel/es recherches a faire dans la car-
rire des sciences. Les Universites d' Italic ont fourni
des sujets qui ont fait honneur aux Academies ; et
celles-ci ont donne* aux Universites des Professeurs,
qui ont rempli les chaires avec la plus grande dis-
tinction." *

The nature of the case and the history of philosophy
combine to recommend to us this "division of" intel-
lectual "labour" between Academies and Universities.
To discover and to teach are distinct functions ; they
are also distinct gifts, and are not commonly found
united in the same person. He, too, who spends his
day in dispensing his existing knowledge to all comers,
is unlikely to have either leisure or energy to acquire
new. The common sense of mankind has associated
the search after truth with seclusion and quiet. The
greatest thinkers have been too intent on their subject
to admit of interruption; they have been men of

i Opere, t. iii., p. 353.
xiii



PREFACE

absent minds and idiosyncratic habits, and have, more
or less, shunned the lecture room and the public school.
Pythagoras, the light of Magna Graecia, lived for a
time in a cave. Thales, the light of Ionia, lived un-
married and in private, and refused the invitations of
princes. Plato withdrew from Athens to the groves
of Academus. Aristotle gave twenty years to a
studious discipleship under him. Friar Bacon lived
in his tower upon the Isis. Newton indulged in an
intense severity of meditation which almost shook his
reason. The great discoveries in chemistry and
electricity were not made in * Universities. Obser-
vatories are more frequently out of Universities than
in them, and even when within their bounds need
have no moral connection with them. Porson had no
classes ; Elmsley lived good part of his life in the
country. I do not say that there are not great ex-
amples the other way, perhaps Socrates, certainly Lord
Bacon ; still I think it must be allowed on the whole
that, while teaching involves external engagements,
the natural home for experiment and speculation is
retirement.

Returning, then, to the consideration of the ques-
tion, from which I may seem to have digressed, thus
much we have made good that, whether or no a
Catholic University should put before it, as its great
object, to make .its students "gentlemen," still to
make them something or other is its great object, and
not simply to protect the interests and advance the
dominion of Science. If, then, this may be taken for
granted, as I think it may, the only point which
remains to be settled is, whether I have formed a pro-
bable conception of the sort of benefit which the Holy
See has intended to confer on Catholics who speak the
xiv



PREFACE

English tongue by recommending to the Irish Hier-
archy the establishment of a University ; and this I
now proceed to consider.

Here, then, it is natural to ask those who are in-
terested in the question, whether any better interpreta-
tion of the recommendation of the Holy See can be
given than that which I have suggested in this Volume.
Certainly it does not seem to me rash to pronounce
that, whereas Protestants have great advantages of
education in the Schools, Colleges, and Universities
of the United Kingdom, our ecclesiastical rulers have
it in purpose that Catholics should enjoy the like advan-
tages, whatever they are, to the full. I conceive they
view it as prejudicial to the interests of Religion that
there should be any cultivation of mind bestowed upon
Protestants which is not given to their own youth also.
As they wish their schools for the poorer and middle
classes to be at least on a par with those of Protestants,
they contemplate the same object also as regards that
higher education which is given to comparatively the
few. Protestant youths, who can spare the time,
continue their studies till the age of twenty-one or
twenty-two; thus they employ a time of life all-
important and especially favourable to mental culture.
I conceive that our Prelates are impressed with the
fact and its consequences, that a youth who ends his
education at seventeen is no match (tmUru paribm} for
one who ends it at twenty-one.

All classes indeed of the community are impressed
with a fact so obvious as this. The consequence is,
that Catholics who aspire to be on a level with Protestants
in discipline and refinement of intellect have recourse
to Protestant Universities to obtain what they cannot
find at home. Assuming (as the Rescripts from Pro-
xv



PREFACE



paganda allow me to do) that Protestant education is
inexpedient for our youth we see here an additional
reason why those advantages, whatever they are, which
Protestant communities dispense through the medium
of Protestantism should be accessible to Catholics in a
Catholic form.

What are these advantages ? I repeat, they are
in one word the culture of the intellect. Robbed,
oppressed, and thrust aside, Catholics in these islands
have not been in a condition for centuries to attempt
the sort of education which is necessary for the man
of the world, the statesman, the landholder, or the
opulent gentleman. Their legitimate stations, duties,
employments, have been taken from them, and the
qualifications withal, social and intellectual, which are
necessary both for reversing the forfeiture and for
availing themselves of the reversal. The time is come
when this moral disability must be removed. Our
desideratum is, not the manners and habits of gentle-
men ; these can be, and are, acquired in various other
ways, by good society, by foreign travel, by the innate
grace and dignity of the Catholic mind ; but the
force, the steadiness, the comprehensiveness and the
versatility of intellect, the command over our own
powers, the instinctive just estimate of things as they
pass before us, which sometimes indeed is a natural
gift, but commonly is not gained without much effort
and the exercise of years.

This is real cultivation of mind ; and I do not deny
that the characteristic excellences of a gentleman are
included in it. Nor need we be ashamed that they
should be, since the Poet long ago wrote, that " In-
genuas didicisse fideliter artes, Emollit mores." Cer-
tainly a liberal education does manifest itself in a
xvi



PREFACE

courtesy, propriety, and polish of word and action,
which is beautiful in itself, and acceptable to others ;
but it does much more. It brings the mind into form,
for the mind is like the body. Boys outgrow their
shape and their strength ; their limbs have to be knit
together, and their constitution needs tone. Mistaking
animal spirits for nerve, and over-confident in their
health, ignorant what they can bear and how to
manage themselves, they are immoderate and extrava-
gant; and fall into sharp sicknesses. This is an
emblem of their minds ; at first they have no
principles laid down within them as a foundation for
the intellect to build upon ; they have no discriminat-
ing convictions and no grasp of consequences. In con-
sequence they talk at random, if they talk much, and
cannot help being flippant, or what is emphatically
called "young." They are merely dazzled by phe-
nomena, instead of perceiving things as they are.

It were well if none remained boys all their lives ;
but what is more common than the sight of grown
men, talking on political or moral or religious subjects,
in that offhand, idle way, which we signify by the word
unreal? "That they simply do not know what they
are talking about" is the spontaneous silent remark
of any man of sense who hears them. Hence such
persons have no difficulty in contradicting themselves
in successive sentences, without being conscious of it.
Hence others, whose defect in intellectual training is
more latent, have their most unfortunate crotchets, as
they are called, or hobbies, which deprive them of the
influence which their estimable qualities would other-
wise secure. Hence others can never look straight
before them, never see the point, and have no difficulties
in the most difficult subjects. Others are hopelessly
xvii



PREFACE



obstinate and prejudiced, and return the next moment
to their old opinions, after they have been driven
from them, without even an attempt to explain why.
Others are so intemperate and intractable that there is
no greater calamity for a good cause than that they
should get hold of it. It is very plain from the very
particulars I have mentioned that, in this delineation of
intellectual infirmities, I am drawing, not from Catho-
lics, but from the world at large ; I am referring to an
evil which is forced upon us in every railway carriage,
in every coffee-room or table d'hote, in every mixed
company, an evil, however, to which Catholics are
not less exposed than the rest of mankind.

When the intellect has once been properly trained
and formed to have a connected view or grasp of
things, it will display its powers with more or less
effect according to its particular quality and measure
in the individual. In the case of most men it makes
itself felt in the good sense, sobriety of thought,
reasonableness, candour, self-command, and steadiness
of view, which characterise it. In some it will have
developed habits of business, power of influencing
others, and sagacity. In others it will elicit the talent
of philosophical speculation, and lead the mind forward
to eminence in this or that intellectual department.
In all it will be a faculty of entering with comparative
ease into any subject of thought, and of taking up with
aptitude any science or profession. All this it will be
and will do in a measure, even when the mental forma-
tion be made after a model but partially true ; for, as
far as effectiveness goes, even false views of things
have more influence and inspire more respect than no
views at all. Men who fancy they see what is not are
more energetic, and make their way better, than those



PREFACE



who see nothing ; and so the undoubting infidel, the
fanatic, the bigot, are able to do much, while the
mere hereditary Christian, who has never realised the
truths which he holds, is unable to do anything. But,
if consistency of view can add so much strength
even to error, what may it not be expected to furnish
to the dignity, the energy, and the influence of Truth !

Some one, however, will perhaps object that I am
but advocating that spurious philosophism, which shows
itself in what, for want of a word, I may call " viewi-
ness," when I speak so much of the formation, and
consequent grasp, of the intellect. It may be said
that the theory of University Education, which I have
been delineating, if acted upon, would teach youths
nothing soundly or thoroughly, and would dismiss
them with nothing better than brilliant general views
about all things whatever.

This indeed would be a most serious objection,
if well founded, to what I have advanced in this
Volume, and would gain my immediate attention,
had I any reason to think that I could not remove
it at once, by a simple explanation of what I consider
the true mode of educating, were this the place to do
so. But these Discourses are directed simply to the
consideration of the aims and principles of Education.
Suffice it, then, to say here, that I hold very strongly
that the first step in intellectual training is to impress
upon a boy's mind the idea of science, method, order,
principle, and system ; of rule and exception, of rich-
ness and harmony. This is commonly and excellently
done by making him begin with Grammar ; nor can
too great accuracy, or minuteness and subtlety of
teaching be used towards him, as his faculties expand,
with this simple view. Hence it is that critical
xix



PREFACE

scholarship is so important a discipline for him when
he is leaving school for the University. A second
science is the Mathematics : this should follow Gram-
mar, still with the same object, viz., to give him a
conception of development and arrangement from and
around a common centre. Hence it is that Chronology
and Geography are so necessary for him, when he reads
History, which is otherwise little better than a story-
book. Hence, too, Metrical Composition, when he
reads Poetry ; in order to stimulate his powers into
action in every practicable way, and to prevent a merely
passive reception of images and ideas which in that
case are likely to pass out of mind as soon as they have
entered it. Let him once gain this habit of method,
of starting from fixed points, of making his ground
good as he goes, of distinguishing what he knows from
what he does not know, and I conceive he will be
gradually initiated into the largest and truest philoso-
phical views, and will feel nothing but impatience and
disgust at the random theories and imposing sophistries
and dashing paradoxes, which carry away half-formed
and superficial intellects.

Such parti-coloured ingenuities are indeed one of the
chief evils of the day, and men of real talent are not
slow to minister to them. An intellectual man, as the
world now conceives of him, is one who is full of
" views " on all subjects of philosophy, on all matters
of the day. It is almost thought a disgrace not to
have a view at a moment's notice on any question
from the Personal Advent to the Cholera or Mes-
merism. This is owing in great measure to the
necessities of periodical literature, now so much in
request. Every quarter of a year, every month, every
day, there must be a supply, for the gratification of the
xx



PREFACE

public, of new and luminous theories on the subjects
of religion, foreign politics, home politics, civil eco-
nomy, finance, trade, agriculture, emigration, and the
colonies. Slavery, the gold-fields, German philo-
sophy, the French Empire, Wellington, Peel, Ireland,
must all be practised on, day after day, by what are
called original thinkers. As the great man's guest
must produce his good stories or songs at the evening
banquet, as the platform orator exhibits his telling
facts at midday, so the journalist lies under the stern
obligation of extemporising his lucid views, leading
ideate, and nutshell truths for the breakfast table.
The very nature of periodical literature, broken into
small wholes, and demanded punctually to an hour,
involves this extempore philosophy. "Almost all
the Ramblers," says Boswell of Johnson, " were
written just as they were wanted for the press ; he
sent a certain portion of the copy for an essay, and
wrote the remainder while the former part of it was
printing." Few men have the gifts of Johnson, who
to great vigour and resource of intellect, when it was


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