Page:An Academic Sketch.djvu/15

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The Romanes Lecture 1892

and fourteenth centuries, the Franciscan Order gave to Oxford the larger number of those remarkable, and even epoch-making men, who secured for this University such a career of glory in mediaeval times?

I note then, in the first place, as marking the normal relation, in a Christian land, between the University and the Church, this distinctness of colour, this competition, and this yet more prevailing cooperation.

The particular terms of the relation could not, indeed, permanently continue without change. The seas had been little traversed, the surface of the earth but partially explored: the field of human experience had to be immeasurably widened and diversified, the relation between man and man to be fundamentally altered in respect of knowledge, of subjection, and of intercourse. The art of criticism, arbitrary and rash, yet indispensable and invaluable, had to emerge as almost a new creation of the human mind. The very foundations for the investigation of Nature, in her vast and varied realms, were yet to be laid, or laid anew. Wealth, too, with all its subtle influences, was to be increased, and probably has yet to be increased beyond all older conception and belief. Though divine knowledge might also in various ways advance and be enlarged, it was hardly possible that progress in this region could present any analogous magnitude of scale, or of results. On the whole, it could not but be that the world-power should gain largely in force upon the Church-power: and of the world-power, in its least grovelling and most upward aspects, the University was the proper representative upon the field of human culture.