Page:Studies of a Biographer 2.djvu/141

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129
JOWETT'S LIFE

at the singular and slightly absurd phenomenon called the Oxford Movement, and keenly interested in the contest finally brought to a head by his friend W. G. Ward. Soon afterwards he was a leading tutor, at a time when the most vigorous youths at Oxford were inclining rather in the direction of J. S. Mill, and some of them becoming disciples of Comte. His edition of St. Paul's Epistles made him an arch-heretic in the eyes of the High Church party, and his simultaneous appointment to the Greek Professorship gave the chance, of which its members were foolish enough to avail themselves, of putting him in the position of a martyr of free thought. His share in the Essays and Reviews (1860) made him a representative man in a wider sphere. Though we have now got to the stage of affecting astonishment at the sensation produced by the avowal of admitted truths in that work, nobody who remembers the time can doubt that it marked the appearance of a very important development of religious and philosophical thought. The controversy raised by Essays and Reviews even distracted men for a time from the far more important issues raised by the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. Jowett, then a little