Page:Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects.djvu/21
The New School.
professorial tone, I may say is certain, that whilst of all studies in the whole range of knowledge, the study of law affords the most conservative training, so the study of Modern History is, next to Theology itself, and only next in so far as Theology rests on a divine revelation, the most thoroughly religious training that the mind can receive. It is no paradox to say that Modern History, including Medieval History in the term, is co-extensive in its field of view, in its habits of criticism, in the persons of its most famous students, with Ecclesiastical History. We may call them sister studies, but, if they are not really one and the same, they are twin sisters, so much alike that there is no distinguishing between them. Men who are bent on seeing only differences and ignoring points of agreement refused to see that in 1850, and I dare say refuse to see it still.
So much, however, has changed and changed rapidly in sixteen years; so many old friends have sought new fields of work, so great changes have passed over the moral and intellectual atmosphere of Oxford, that one is prone to forget that in truth the precedent era from 1830 to 1850 was itself only a transient phase, and not to be looked on as stamping for ever the character of the University. I for one can rejoice in looking back on those days, and I can look forward with hope and sympathy to what is before us in these respects. If I regret the absence of some things that were pleasant in the old life, at least I can appreciate much of that which promises to be the charm of the new. Happily removed for all these years from Oxford controversies, and I am glad to say that in the humblest way I have not had a finger in them, I can still clothe the old life with that gladness which for most men gilds the recollection of undergraduate days. But the world did not stop with me when I left Oxford, and I trust, if God shall spare me, to work with a good heart as long as it is called to-day.
I rejoice then to find on my return the School of Law and Modem History occupying a well-defined and still improving position, and bestowing honours which the men most honoured in the other contests of the academic arena are glad not only