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ever learned and ingenious."-" We may contemn or ridicule, as much as we please, the scholastic mode of education pursued by our forefathers; but there certainly never was a wilder scheme devised by the perverted ingenuity of man, than that of attempting to improve the minds of youth, and to create intellectual habits, by the sole means of reading a lecture, without any further intercourse between the teacher and pupil. By the ancient method of instruction, a high degree of acuteness and discrimination was produced in the mind of the student; whereas the mere lecturing professor does nothing, and can expect nothing, but what may happen to result from the voluntary efforts of the student himself."
He affords no means of knowing to which of the Scottish colleges he alludes; but wherever such a mockery of education is carried on, we are certain of one of two things: either that Mr. Jardine's book will shame them out of it; or, if not, that the masters have more regard to their own ease, than to the success of their pupils.
"Nobody," says Locke, "has made any thing by the hearing of rules, or laying them up in his memory; practice must settle the habit of doing, without reflecting on the rule; and you may as well expect to make a good painter or musician, extempore, by a lecture or instruction in the arts of music and painting, as a coherent thinker, or strict reasoner, by a set of rules, showing him wherein right reason consists." "Would you have a man reason well, you must use him to it betimes, exercise his mind in it, observing the connexion of ideas, and following them in train.”
We conclude, then, by recommending heartily this most useful work to all who are engaged in the education of the young, and more particularly to such as have to guide their inquiries into the study of mind, and thereby to conduct them within the threshold of philosophy. It contains the fruit of more than forty years' experience, spent in teaching the elements of mental science to a numerous class; and in consequence it abounds in directions alike valuable to the master and to the pupil, and exhibits a great variety of practical examples calculated to guide the one and the other in all the details of this species of education. If it shall lead to a temperate discussion on this most interesting of all subjects, it will not fail to do good on both sides of the Tweed.
ART. VI.-Anecdotes of the Life of Richard Watson, Bishop of Landaff; written by himself at different Intervals, and revised in 1814. Published by his son, Richard Watson, LL. B. prebendary of Landaff and Wells. 4to. pp. 551. Cadell and Davies. London, 1817.
MEMOIRS of the Bishop of Landaff written by himself were sure to excite profound attention. His case was peculiar. With the exception of Horsley, none of the bishops, who could properly be considered as his contemporaries, could be compared with him in talents. And Horsley, though his superior in learning, and in taste and capacity for deep investigation, was inferior to him in the art of philosophizing without appearing to philosophize, -of delighting the few while he was instructing the many. Nor was the character of Dr. Watson less peculiar than his talents. In public life he stood alone among the bishops as a pretty constant assailant of government, and a somewhat uncourtly critic of the reigning family. In private life he was happily conspicuous among his episcopal brethren for throwing off in his latter years the exterior proprieties of the clerical character. He spent nearly the last thirty years of his life at a distance from his diocese; a right reverend agriculturist-giving himself more to drill ploughs than to the functions prescribed to Timothy -and scarcely presenting any evidence of his episcopal existence, except by a charge ordinarily as well suited to the hustings, as to the chair of the sanctuary in which he presided. The history also of the Bishop of Landaff had been somewhat peculiar. In the earliest years of his life he shot upwards like a rocket; reaching preferment after preferment by a very rapid ascent. But, having risen to the see of Landaff, his preferment ended, and his petulance began.
Nor had any of these peculiarities in his talents, character, or life, escaped the notice of opposite parties, before the publication of the Bishop's memoirs. His political tendencies ensured him both good report and ill report: and even now that he is beyond the reach of either censure or applause, the most conflicting judgments do not cease to follow him. In the mouths of some, his name is never sounded without the addition of wise, and great, and disinterested; and from the lips of others, it never escapes without expressions of suspicion and disdain. Such a phenomenon in the theological horizon must be worthy of investigation; and having waited for the cloud of controversy in some measure to be dispersed, we venture to hope that we may be able to collect and note its aspect, course, and bearings, without any wide deviation from the truth.
But before we proceed to the task of setting down our observations, we shall avail ourselves of the highly interesting volume before us, to state some of the particulars on which our conclusions are founded, so that our readers may be able to judge as accurately as ourselves.
Dr. Watson was born in the year 1737, at Heversham in Westmoreland, of which place his father was the school-master. But he received his education under the successor of his father. He represents his own classical education as very incomplete; and speaks in terms of contempt, which would have sounded better in the mouth of a profound philologist and critic, of philological and critical attainments. It is but just, however, to state that, when at a subsequent period of life he occupied the divinity chair in the university of Cambridge, so intense and successful had been his classical labours, that, although a close listener missed the ornamented diction of Halifax, or the pure and exact phraseology of Jowett, he was never offended by inaccuracies, and was often delighted by some bold figure or phrase, which, if no classic had ever used, any classic might have been proud to own. Those who have actually attended in the divinity schools during his presidency, will ill endure any reflections upon a style which clearly and strongly conveyed to the mind, ideas which in many instances could never have been expressed, because never conceived, by any classical writer.
Dr. Watson's entrance upon an university life is thus described:
"I commenced my academic studies with great eagerness, from knowing that my future fortune was to be wholly of my own fabricating, being certain that the slender portion which my father had left to me (3001) would be barely sufficient to carry me through my education. I had no expectations from relations; indeed I had not a relation so near as a first cousin in the world, except my mother, and a brother and sister, who were many years older than me. My mother's maiden name was Newton; she was a very charitable and good woman, and I am indebted to her (I mention it with filial piety) for imbuing my young mind with principles of religion, which have never forsaken me. Erasmus, in his little treatise entitled Antibarbarorum, says that the safety of states depends upon three thingsUpon a proper or improper education of the prince, upon public preachers, and upon school-masters; and he might, with equal reason, have added, upon mothers; for the care of the mother precedes that of the school-master, and may stamp upon the rasa tabula of the infant mind, characters of virtue and religion which no time can efface." (P. 7.)
That spirit of perseverance by which during the whole of his university career he was so much distinguished, early discovered itself. He never quitted college for two years and seven months
after he first entered it: during this period he acquired some knowledge of Hebrew; greatly improved himself in Greek and Latin; made considerable proficiency in mathematics and philosophy; studied with much attention Locke's works, King's book on the Origin of Evil, Puffendorf's Treatise de Officio Hominis et Civis; and gained a college scholarship. His plan of study was somewhat singular, but calculated to strengthen his memory, and accustom his mind to continuous thought and independent investigation.
"I thought I never entirely understood a proposition in any part of mathematics or natural philosophy, till I was able in a solitary walk, obstipo capite atque exporrecto labello, to draw the scheme in my head, and go through every step of the demonstration without book or pen and paper. I found this was a very difficult task, especially in some of the perplexed schemes, and long demonstrations of the Twelfth Book of Euclid, and in L'Hopital's Conic Sections, and in Newton's Principia. My walks, for this purpose, were so frequent, that my tutor, not knowing what I was about, once reproached me for being a lounger. I never gave up a difficult point in a demonstration till I had made it out proprio Marte; I have been stopped at a single step for three days." (P. 11, 12.)
In 1757 he took his bachelor's degree; and the point seems never to have been disputed that, although the rank of second wrangler was assigned to him, he was fairly entitled to that of first. Soon after he became fellow, and lecturer of his college; and presided for some years as moderator of disputations in the public schools.
In 1764 he was suddenly and unanimously, although he had never read a syllable of chemistry, nor seen a single experiment, elected Chemical Professor; such was the confidence entertained by the university, as well as himself, in his capacity for acquiring any science which he chose to pursue. He instantly sent for an operator from Paris; "buried himself in his laboratory;" and, in fourteen months from his election, read a course of chemical lectures to a crowded university audience.
In 1771, when preparing for another course of chemical lectures, Dr. Rutherforth, Regius Professor of Divinity, suddenly died. Dr. Watson had for some years secretly aspired to this distinguished chair. But Rutherforth died before his rank in the university qualified him to sit for it. All difficulties, however, were by his ardour and perseverance surmounted; and, at the age of thirty-four, he was unanimously elected Professor. At the time when this election took place, few individuals could be less qualified for the Professor's chair than Dr. Watson; and our readers will be amused by hearing of one method adopted by him to abridge his own theological labors. We will not affirm
this to have been his only reason for silencing "fathers, churches, councils, and bishops," and listening only to Scripture. But, if he had a better motive, it in this case carried its temporal reward along with it.
"I reduced the study of divinity into as narrow a compass as I could, for I determined to study nothing but my Bible, being much unconcerned about the opinions of councils, fathers, churches, bishops, and other men, as little inspired as myself. This mode of proceeding being opposite to the general one, and especially to that of the Master of Peterhouse, who was a great reader, he used to call me autodidantos, the self-taught divine.-The Professor of Divinity had been nicknamed Malleus Hæreticorum; it was thought to be his duty to demolish every opinion which militated against what is called the orthodoxy of the Church of England. Now my mind was wholly unbiassed; I had no prejudice against, no predilection for the Church of England; but a sincere regard for the Church of Christ, and an insuperable objection to every degree of dogmatical intolerance. I never troubled myself with answering any arguments which the opponents in the divinity schools brought against the articles of the church, nor ever admitted their authority as decisive of a difficulty; but I used on such occasions to say to them, holding the New Testament in my hand, En sacrum codicem! Here is the fountain of truth, why do you follow the streams derived from it by the sophistry, or polluted by the passions of man? If you can bring proofs against any thing delivered in this book, I shall think it my duty to reply to you; articles of churches are not of divine authority; have done with them; for they may be true, they may be false; and appeal to the book itself. This mode of disputing gained me no credit with the hierarchy; but I thought it an honest one, and it produced a liberal spirit in the University." (P. 39.)
In 1773, the Professor married the daughter of Edward Wilson, Esq. of Westmoreland; and the day after his marriage took possession of a sinecure rectory in Wales, which he afterwards exchanged for a prebend in the Church of Ely. About this period we find him beginning to take a warm interest in the political questions by which the nation and the university were then agitated. He scribbled in newspapers, and issued anonymous pamphlets. He fell into the mischievous error of combining other pursuits with those of the minister of the Gospel; and laying aside the proper instruments of reform, religious principle, and moral suasion, proposed to himself the task of creating a new world by the excision of a few rotten boroughs, or in other words, of making a man whole by cutting off a few of his worts. But we will not stop to comment upon these facts at the present moment. A letter to Lord Granby, one of his college pupils, is found at p. 49, which is worthy of the serious attention of every young man setting out in life. It is, indeed, lamentably deficient, especially as