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having a common occupation, recognizing the anthority of one church, and united with the stronger attachment to each other, that they were separated from the people of the different countries in which they were planted. The universities of Paris and of Oxford, were not properly French and English respectively; they belonged to the church. Paris was as free to English scholars as Oxford was to Frenchmen, or to scholars from any nation professing the Western Catholic creed; and students migrated sometimes from one to the other by thousands.
A great change came upon the mediæval universities in course of the revival of learning and the Reformation. Toward the middle of the fourteenth century, the scholastic philosophy began to decline, and the revival of classical learning to enlist that zeal of youth which had so long been absorbed by the war of dialectics. But the universities were slow to admit the classics to a place in their course of study; and youth in large numbers sought and found the instruction which they demanded elsewhere, and by other means. Thus while knowledge became more extensive and more common, the attendance upon the universities fell off. The classics ultimately vindicated their place in the department of Arts, and greatly enlarged the resources of the Trivium, and in course of time effected a change which overthrew the dynasty of scholasticism.
As the sixteenth century dawned, most of the universities could present eminent professors teaching the liberal views and improved scholarship of the time, and even broaching the question of reforining the church. That again prepared another ordeal through which the universities had to pass. It was within their halls that the great Reformation began, that its first controversies were waged, and its first heroes did battle. By them had so large a part of the Christian world been prepared to accept that revolution, and out of their lecture-rooms stepped the men who conducted the popnlar movement and sustained it. From the University of Paris came the demand for Papal reform, as early as the Council of Constance; in the University of Oxford, in the latter part of the fourteenth century, did John Wyckliffe commence the war upon long persistent abuses; the University of Basel led the way to reformation in Switzerland; in the University of Wittenberg, Luther and Melancthon were professors; from that of Paris went forth Farel and Viret and Calvin; in the universities of England were prepared the theologians of the reign of Edward VI., and there did Bucer and Peter Martyr find refuge; and in the University of St. Andrews did the Scotch reformation open its career and offer up its first martyr, and there were equipped for their work and their suffering Hamilton, Buchanan, and Knox. The Reformation was, under Providence, emphatically the offspring of the universities; and most of them suffered severely from the conflict which it involved. It was inevitable that the seat of war should be most deeply agitated by the strife. And when the combatants emerged into peace at its close, it was to find themselves broken and divided, some having triumphed and held their ground on the side of reformation, and others driven back toward the position of the Middle Ages. Yet the work effected proved for the benefit of all. Enlarged and more generally enlightened intellect was applied to their improvement, in more distinct separation and classification of the work of the old universities; and in the establishment of new, upon improved principles.
In the long course of that controversy and its sequel, the preparatory schools were separated from the universities, and set up by themselves at various places over the country, a step which was also rendered necessary by the breaking down of the convents and monasteries. School education was no longer to be confined to literary centres, but to be put within easy reach of every family throughout the Protestant world.
The university course, as thus distinguished from the school, consisted of two separate departments, the liberal and professional. The former had originally consisted of two parts, the Trivium and Quadrivium, and although the distinction between these two was no longer scrupulously observed, studies belonging to the one being in some cases pursued within the bounds formerly reserved for the other, still the course of Arts remained twofold. To the first part, which corresponded to the old Trivium, as to the place which it occupied, were given, if we take Oxford as an example, four years, or thereby, immediately after the school course. Upon finishing that successfully, the student received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Three more years, corresponding to the place of the Quadrivium, enabled the candidate, who sustained a satisfactory examination, to take the degree of Master of Arts, as having completed the liberal course, or as it was called the course in the Arts.
If a man proceeded further with the view of qualifying himself for a profession, he had to begin from the year of his Master's degree, except in the case of law, which might be commenced a year sooner, and could be finished in six additional years. The medical course required seven, and the theological eleven, years from the Master's degree. At the close of this course of professional preparation the successful student was honored with the degree of doctor, in law, in medicine, or in theology according to the profession studied. These degrees were not then mere honors; they signified real degrees of attainment, and were certificates and licenses to teach or to practise the professions to which they were attached.
The latter part of the sixteenth century saw the rise of the Dutch universities, those benign fruits of the Reformation, in which classical scholarship and a new and greater philosophy were combined with the development of reformed theology.
In the course of the eighteenth century, and especially in the latter part of it, the German universities began to assume the place of precedence which they now hold. Their position was taken upon the principle of more perfect separation of departments. Taking, for example, the University of Berlin-not only was the grammar school left off, but also all that part of the course of Arts required for the Bachelor's degree, which was committed to the college, or institutions of that grade. The Master's course was made co-ordinate with the professional, and assigned to the Faculty of Arts, or of Philosophy in the university, with its analogous degree of Doctor in Philosophy.
Consequently there was a triad of educational institutions established and carried out with more or less precision in the
different German states, consisting of the school, confined to preparatory training; the college, under one name and another, assigned to liberal cnlture alone; and the university, provided with professional instruction, as well as with the means of further pursuing liberal education for those whose leisure or taste dispose them thereto, or who choose to make it their profession as teachers or authors.
As long as the universities retained their mediæval type, those of England-namely, Oxford and Cambridge—maintained their position among the first; but they have not kept up with the progress of improvement. Their mediæval course is no longer practical; and no adequate provision has been made for supplying its place. The highest praise of English education pertains to the collegiate schools. The practical course of the universities only carries forward to a higher point the work of the school, and answers the purposes of liberal culture--that is, it is of the nature of what belongs to the college.
In the French revolution of the last century, the university of Paris was entirely swept away, together with all the other universities of France. Public instruction was organized on a new plan by Napoleon I. That plan was abolished by Louis XVIII., who attempted one of his own, which the rule of the Hundred Days defeated. Upon reconstructing the gov. ernment after the battle of Waterloo, the subject of education was put into the hands of a commission which adopted substantially the ideas of Napoleon.
According to that method, the university is nothing else than government applied to the universal direction of public instruction. First in the series of institutions are the common schools of different grades; then the colleges and lyceums, both pertaining to the department of liberal culture; and highest in rank are academies, which are local divisions of the university, distributed over France, and the central authority and head of all is at Paris.
American universities fail in that clearness of segregation, which would assign them to their proper functions. Invariably they retain the college as a part of their course, and make it their Faculty of Arts. In this they coincide with the uni
versities of Scotland. Consequently they have nothing which corresponds to the second course in the Arts, and the Master's degree is a mere empty title. At the same time, the attempt to combine the college with the university always produces an incongruity. The two parts of the institution will not cohere. They cannot properly be governed on the same principle. The university proper is a place of study for men already cultivated by liberal education, where they learn the professions to which they propose to devote their lives. And it is as desirable that they should be completely separated from the college, where immature youth are trained in the liberal arts, as it is that these latter should be separated from the grammar school, where boys are drilled in the elements. Each one can conduct its own work better alone.
In America, a true university is that which is established in various places over the country, in law schools, medical schools, and theological seminaries. Concerned with studies, which, to be pursued with most profit, demand a previous college training, yet unembarrassed by any complication with colleges, those institutions conduct their own work, after their own proper manner, in a very effective way. Advantages are no doubt to be derived from assembling them all at one place, libraries in common, for example; but perhaps not enough to counterbalance that of each one being put in its own most proper locality.
The university, as now distinguished from the school and college, is the professional part of a complete education; and its pupils are liberally educated men, already trained to a rational use of their faculties and determined to their respective purposes in life. Its internal government should be addressed to the end of maintaining order and inciting to diligence, by eliciting voluntary co-operation, bringing out the approval of judgment, and the action of conscience. Its peculiar restraints, over and above those of general society, are such as belong to a voluntary association for the attainment of a common end. The methods of instruction proper to the university are, accordingly, such as to aid the thinking of mature minds: as lectures, prelections, conversations on the subject of study and on books assigned to be read; demonstrations by means of drawings,