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to a like congregation. I find more and more how widely he has occupied this ground."
I must not attempt to describe the "Christian work" which Dr Vaughan attempted and carried through during his fifteen years at Harrow. My judgment of it, even if true, would certainly not be impartial. He has laid me and hundreds of other pupils under such spiritual obligations as make impartiality a heartless phrase. But I can say, without reserve, that at no time in my life have I been so conscious of living in a directly Christian atmosphere, with Christian ideals of duty habitually set up for reverence, as during the happy years when he presided over Harrow. The main cause was no doubt his impressive personality; his remarkable combination of deep devoutness with wit, penetration, and delicate sympathy; his quiet tenacity of purpose, and an inborn almost humorous sense of masterfulness which no softness of manner could disguise. But doubtless the spell of this personality was confirmed week by week by his admirable sermons, so keen in their insight, so tender in their touch, so winning in their expression, so rich in the fulness of Christ.
It is easy to overrate, but it is quite as easy to underrate, the lasting power of sermons. All I can say is, and many still living would gratefully concur, that these sermons of our dear master, as summed up in his Memorials of Harrow Sundays, have been to hundreds of us the day-star of our lives.
No sketch, however slight, of Christian work at Public Schools can omit the thirty-four years of Edward Thring at Uppingham. Beyond all doubt he was a most original man. His ideas, his plans, his methods, his manner of speech, his whole bearing towards Trustees and Commissioners, boys and masters, were his own. Consciously, he borrowed nothing. He framed his schemes early in life, and pushed them forward with the energy of a Cæsar.
From first to last he was haunted by one fruitful thought: no boy at school was fairly dealt with unless his surroundings
were favourable to his health, physical, mental, and moral. The schoolrooms must be large, light, cheery, well furnished with good desks, seats, maps, and the like. The large room in which they met must be stately. The Chapel must be noble, awe-inspiring. In the long run, what he often humorously called the "almighty wall" must tell upon the feelings, the imaginations, the memories. By the "almighty wall" I understand him to have meant all that is structural and material. They are not the highest things in education; but unless they are high, the highest cannot be attained. Sordid surroundings, overcrowded boarding houses, black, forbidding, low, ill-lighted rooms, anything suggestive of the barracks or the workhouse-these are an insult to a liberal education.
He himself once explained very clearly to his Trustees, after they had had twenty-two years of him, without perhaps even then understanding him, what had been his aims since he first entered their service. "The two facts," he said, "on which the present school has been built up are very simple and easily stated. They are these two truths: Firstly, the necessity in a true school that every boy, be he clever or stupid, must have proper individual attention paid to him. If he has not, the boy who has not, so far as he is neglected, is not at school.
"Secondly, that proper machinery for work, proper tools, of all sorts, are at least as necessary in making a boy take a given shape, as in making a deal box. Out of these two axioms," he continues, "the present school of Uppingham has grown."
Had he desired to formulate the chief moral aim of his school, he might have said "true work "—no shams, no half and half, no shirking, but good, true work by every boy, because every boy can do something well, at all events he can do his best.
All that has been said so far might have been said of any original, clear-sighted, conscientious man. But Thring was
much more than this. He was also a humble, brave, fervid Christian. His faithful pupil and biographer, Mr Parkin, is certainly not going one whit beyond the truth when he says. "that no one can gauge Edward Thring's work and character unless he understands the supreme influence on his life of the belief, nay, the passionate conviction, that education was in a special sense a work for God. The feeling indeed that in training young lives he was doing a special and direct work for God dominated his own life and all his views of school life. It gave him his starting point for practical work."
Yes, my friends, of the many holy men and women who, in this fast fleeting century, have done good "Christian work" for God, a high place must always be accorded-little as he would have cared for any praise but the love of his old pupils to the devotion, the faith, the patience, the trust, the dauntless self-consecration of Edward Thring.
Five years after the re-founding of Uppingham another Founder appeared on the scene. In the spring of 1858 Edward White Benson was appointed the first master of Wellington College. Few men could be less like one another either in appearance or in character than Benson and Thring. Yet in reading what is written of the one Founder one is often reminded of the other; for each was essentially original, creative, constructive, autocratic, "fervent in spirit,” rapid in temper and in action.
The following sentences by a shrewd friend of Benson have quite an Uppingham ring. "He at once impressed me with confidence and interest. The masters were made to feel from the first that they were helping to work out a new plan. Instinctively we saw that there were grand possibilities in the College as it grew under his hand....There was very little experience among the masters, but much enthusiasm. He taught us one great lesson-to be self-sacrificing for the College, to be ready to give, and to enjoy giving, time, money, thought, and whatever ability we possessed, to its development
on every side, to the building and decoration of the Chapel, to the organization of the games and of the work in school."
As to the directly Christian aspect of his work, it is perhaps enough to remember that he became the Chancellor of Lincoln, the Bishop of Truro, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. “There was nothing in his whole Wellington life," so his son tells us, "in which my father took such constant delight as the Chapel and the Chapel service." He preached regularly, so we learn from his widow, every Sunday morning. He used to think of the sermon during the week, but he seldom put pen to paper till the first service was over, about 10 o'clock. And he had to preach the sermon at the 12 o'clock service.
Those who know his Sermons on Boy-Life, and how packed they are with thought as well as feeling, may be surprised at this seeming hurry; but when the heart of an able man is full, it becomes "the pen of a ready writer." It was the same with the simple, massive talk of Arnold and the finished, tender appeal of Vaughan. Both were produced at what might seem to some "fever heat," but there was no other sign of fever in them.
There is yet another piece of constructive and eminently Christian work which I can but touch. I refer to the almost heroic achievement of the late Canon Woodard. It is right to own that I have no first-hand knowledge of himself or his system. But there may be some here who, like myself, may be not only gratified but even startled to learn how vast a bulk of Christian work in the cause of education stands credited to his name. His working years were, roughly speaking, from 1851 to 1880, much the same period as that of Thring. He conceived the grand design of founding, by means of a society, all over England three distinct grades of schools, for the gentry, the upper middle class, and the poorer classes. These schools were avowedly on High Church lines, "in the doctrines and principles of the Church now established, and under the direction of clergymen and laymen in communion with the Church."
Already upwards of half a million has been expended on this group of schools. From the short account of the Founder in the Dictionary of National Biography, I gather that there are at least nine of them for boys, and at least three for girls. Many thousands of boys and girls must already have been trained there. A great work for forty years! That great preacher and thinker, the late Professor James Mozley, has devoted to these schools three of his most thoughtful sermons.
"And what shall we more say? For the time would fail me to tell of" other Christian foundations; of the High Church College at Radley, founded by Sewell; of the Wesleyan, "The Leys,” founded by Dr Moulton, here at our very gates; of the Evangelical work at Liverpool College by Conybeare, Dean Howson and Canon George Butler; or again at Repton by that admirable man Stewart Pears, whom I remember in my boyhood as an Assistant Master at Harrow. Still less is there time to enter upon another great parallel movement, the widespread establishment of Schools for Girls, like that founded by Miss Buss in North London, which only a few months since held its solemn Jubilee in St Paul's Cathedral, the roll of benefactors being read out by the Bishop of London, and the sermon preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
My friends, I have told you a long story, and yet you must see that our chief difficulty has been to suppress.
The last three-quarters of our century must always surely stand out well in the records of Christian work at our Public Schools. The evidence is complete that the effort not only to improve their intellectual culture but to penetrate their life with the true Christian spirit has, at least since the time of Arnold, been earnest and continuous.
Is there any reason to fear that the tide so long flowing is beginning to ebb? One fact is certain that the proportion of clergy to laymen among the Masters is nothing like what it was even twenty years ago. It is more and more difficult—I speak as a Governor of four of our chief schools, and as one intimately