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jectured, that Virgil's plant is our common holly, a shrub not indicated in any part of his writings, though frequent in Italian gardens and thickets, as well as elsewhere throughout Europe. He speaks of it as an evergreen with flexible twigs, forming thickets, clipped by the gardener in winter, and bearing berries. It is to be observed, however, that Virgil speaks of the prickly acanthus as a foreign plant, not as a native of Italy. Sir James dues not seem to be aware that the poet describes two kinds of acanthus; nor that the common reading in Georg. IV. 137. Ille comam mollis jum tum tondebat acanthi has been altered, upon the authority of the best MSS., into jam tondebat hyacinthi. And in the only passage where the berries are mentioned, (G. II. 119. baccus semper frondentis acunthi,) Heyne properly observes, ' De agrifolio (the holly) cogitare non licet: laudantur enim plantæ peregrinæ.' For our own parts, we are inclined to suspect that the berry-bearing acanthus of Virgil is no other than the fupé xavba of the Greek botanists, which is so great an ornament to our walls. This is the opinion of Ciofanius on Ovid's Met. xiii. 701.
Again, Sir Jaines says that he is the first person who has elucidated that beautiful apostrophe of our Saviour, . Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, &c.,' which is commonly supposed to apply to the white lily, or the tulip, by referring it to the amaryllis lutea, or autumnal narcissus, with which the fields of the Levant are overrun. We wish to remind Sir James, that Souciet (Recueil de Dissertations Critiques, p. 155.) has observed that the lily mentioned in Scripture is not what we call by that name, but rather the lilium Persicum, or crown imperial, which is common in Palestine. And perhaps this is as probable a conjecture as that of Sir James.
We cannot help observing that arguments for the great importance of botany, drawn from a few elucidations of Scripture, are of no great weight, since there are many other arts and sciences which may rest their claims to distinction upon similar grounds. Upon the whole, although we are very far from thinking, with Socrates, that there is nothing to be learned from trees, yet we must enter our protest against any attempt to exalt botany or its kindred sciences to a level with the more abstruse and more intellectual pursuits, which constitute the eyxúxxios maideia of our English Universities. Far distant be the day, when we shall copy the example of Sweden, where, says Sir James, Natural Science takes place of every other, being the pursuit which leads to preferment in Church and State, like the mathematics at Cambridge'! a most accurate and well-drawn comparison. How these matters may be managed in Sweden we know not, except from Sir James's testimony; but we have yet to learn, that, in this country, the least piece of preferFF 3
ment, ecclesiastical or civil, has been given as a reward for mathematical science alone_ To this,' says Professor Monk, and all such remarks, I shall merely reply, that the results of our general system of education bave been so successful, that we should not be justified in changing it for that of any other University on the face of the earth. It is by progressive steps that it has been brought to its present state. Even within the last few
Even within the last few years, additional efficacy has been given to our system of studies, by an improved method of examination.'.
The next question which arises is this, whether it be expedient to confer a professorship in the University, on a perfect stranger and alien, when there are members of the University itself, willing and competent to undertake its duties. Sir James, of course, argues for the affirmative, and produces from the Academical annals three instances of strangers being appointed to professorships upon their first foundation; but not one, where an entire stranger has been elected to an office already established.
• The distinction,' as Professor Monk observes, “is important. When it was an object to introduce into the University a pursuit hitherto uncultivated in the place, it was right and necessary to look beyond its limits for an able instructor in that science. But when a study has once been established, and successfully pursued by some of its own body, it is more consistent with justice as well as policy, to elect one of them to fill a vacant appointment, than to have recourse, as was done in the first instance, 10 aliens. It is by the hope of these offices and distinctions that our members are encouraged to devote their leisure to such pursuits. When a gentleman, educated amongst us, is proposed as a candidate, not only his abilities, but his personal character, can thoroughly be appreciated by the electors themselves, instead of being taken upon the partial representation of others: and in the choice of such a person, there exists a security, that he will have a community of views and feelings with the University, and a devotion to its interesis, wbich it would be unreasonable to look for in a stranger. It is, besides, natural and proper to be extremely cautious in admitting into the bosom of our institution, and investing with our offices, persons however unexceptionable in their private characters, who have been educated in a system of studies and discipline very dissimilar to our own, and whose age and talents may give them influence over the junior members.' • Nothing can be more just than these observations; and they are backed by the authority of Philip Melancthon, one of the most moderate and candid of mankind. In the advice which he gave for the regulation of a University at Leipzig, he expresses himself thus :
• In facultate artium habetis aliquot eruditos magistros, et rationem haberi præsentium, qui sunt idonei, utile est multis de caussis. Invitan
tur enim ceteri, ut Academia libentius maneant. Et novi ac peregrini magis sunt obnoxii invidiæ: hinc oriuntur certamina ac factiones.'
"Where,' asks Sir James,' would have been the celebrity and the utility of the foreign universities of Edinburgh, of Göttingen, of Pavia, and many others, had the choice of their professors been restricted by any rules, but the claims of acknowledged and eminent ability ?' that is to say, “Unless you elect me, a man of acknowledged and eminent ability, farewell to your celebrity and utility, good Mrs. Alma Mater! Whether the celebrated father of Matilda Pottingen was chosen law-professor of Göttingen from another university, we have not been able to ascertain ; but of this we are sure, that if competent professors could be found in their own body, neither Edinburgh, nor Göttingen, nor Pavia, nor Connecticut would elect them from another.
But the great point of all still remains for discussion; whether Sir James could, with propriety or safety, be invested with an academical office, being a professed dissenter from the established church. This was the main ground upon which the remonstrants founded their objection; an objection which Sir James mildly describes as proceeding from a conspiracy,' and from a jealous and exclusive spirit.' Sir James is, it appears, a member of that society of dissenters, who modestly assume the title of Rational Christians, implying thereby, that the church from which they dissent is irrational. Our readers need not be told that these reasonable personages are no others than Socinians, or Photinians, or Unitarians, or Humanitarians, or Priestleians, or Belshamites, which last, we believe, is the name at present in vogue. It is fair, however, to state that Sir James informs us, that he had always been in the habit of attending frequently the public worship of the church, and of receiving the sacrament many years since; not on any particular occasion, nor with any particular object, except the principle of Christian communion. Is it possible that any man, who persuades himself that he is sincere, can sanction, by his presence and participation, the performance of a solemn rite and act of adoration, the whole tenor of which, in bis heart, he disbelieves and disapproves ? This it is to be a rational Christian! This circumstance, however, and the readiness with which Sir James, it seems, would, in the event of his election, subscribe to the necessary declaration that he conforms to the Liturgy of the Church of England as by law established,' we are not disposed to dwell upon. It is sufficient to remark, that such a declaration would come with singular grace and propriety from the mouth of a professed dissenter; and could not fail of encouraging, in the breast of the youthful student, the virtues of sincerity and consistency. The question is, can either of our universities, consistently with a due regard to the
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 South, with several other heterodoxies cognate to, and dependent upon them, which of late with so much contidence and scandalous countenaitce 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 has 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' eoxriv, the orthodor 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. 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 tiine 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 mme diate privileges, yet was obviously one of a series of measures designed to overthrow the ecclesiastical constitution. From that time to the present, we shall find, thai 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