Page:Historical Lectures and Addresses.djvu/38

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more from a detailed view of one period than they could learn from a general sketch. A nucleus of information, an insight into method, a grasp of important principles, these, when once gained in any field, give to many minds a living interest which rapidly spreads, and forms a starting-point for independent work. I am speaking from my own experience. My attention was directed to the study of ecclesiastical history by the fact that I accidentally attended a course of lectures given by Dr. Shirley on the life and works of Anselm. I went in absolute ignorance of mediæval history, while I was engaged in other reading. Those lectures made the Middle Ages real to me, and gave me a source of interest which I have never since lost. I am of opinion that it should be the ideal of a professor to produce such results.

My object then will be to lecture on subjects which are cognate to those recognised in the University examinations, and to treat them as largely and fully as I can. I shall aim at making my lectures a training in historical method and in the temper necessary for historical judgment. I shall hope that a fuller grasp of principles, a fuller experience of the working of institutions, and a familiarity with the sources of history will react upon the general course of reading prescribed for an examination, and will make it more interesting and more life-like. I shall make each course complete and self-contained. I shall try to make no demands on previous knowledge, and to deal with subjects which possess general interest. My reason is that I think the subject of ecclesiastical history is one of general interest, and that it is of great use to students