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as a test of the doctrinal opinions of the clergy of the Church of England.
Political power is probably the main cause of the maintenance of any religious tests for literary and scientific honors at Oxford and Cambridge.
The two ancient universities of England are close boroughs under the management of a large majority of influential clergymen belonging to the Church of England, and these two educational corporations are considered as bulwarks of the church, and citadels of the church, and they seem to be supposed to be mainly supported by the divinity students, who are afterwards to be ordained as clergymen of the Church.
But whatever may be the case on this subject with respect to the smaller colleges of the University of Cambridge, proofs are quite accessible, to show that the divinity students only constitute a minority of the total number of students in the largest college of that university.
Registers are preserved, from which a very near approximation to the precise numbers required may be deduced, and the numerical superiority of the lay students over the divinity students in Trinity College, Cambridge, is thus proved.
Number of admissions Number of College Testi-
monials for Orders.
144 1834 156
473 Two corrections have been introduced into the foregoing table, first a deduction of five names per annum, from the list of admissions, as a loss of about five names is said to be generally found between the number of admissions, and the number of students admitted, who actually come up to reside at Cam
VOL. III. No. 11. -New Series.
bridge; and secondly, an addition of about four names per annum is required for a small number of testimonials for orders varying from three to five, which are granted at the time of graduation, and are not included in the general list, which is formed from the testimonials granted at other times.
A few ten year men, amounting to four altogether, might be added to the list of admissions, but as these students are already in orders, and merely come up to qualify themselves for the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, they are usually out of the ordinary line of college instruction, and their number is so exceedingly small in Trinity College, that they have hardly any influence in the support of the college.
The average proportion of the admissions to the testimonials for each year, from 1831 to 1810, will consequently be as 138 to 47 nearly, or, in other words, the proportion of the total number of students to the number of divinity students is as three to one nearly, on an average of ten years. Many of the students who are admitted as members of Trinity College, do not remain to take any degree in the university: some leave the university during the first year of residence, or at the conclusion of their first years : others remain two years, others three, and a considerable number are always found to remain during the whole period of three years and a quarter, to qualify themselves for the degree of a Bachelor of Arts.
An interval of about three years and a half is required from all students who are untitled commoners, between the degree of Bachelor of Arts and the higher degree of Master of Arts : a second visit to Cambridge is also requisite in order to take the degree of Master of Arts, and various fees are expected at that period, as well as a subscription to the three articles of the thirty-sixth canon of the Church of England.
When the degree of Master of Arts is once taken, the graduate thereby becomes a member of the senate of the University of Cambridge, and it is remarkable, that the proportion of the laity to the clergy among the members of the senate, who are registered as members of Trinity College, is far greater than the same proportion among the total number of the members of the senate in the whole university, where the clergy predominate, by a large majority, over the laity.
Trinity College consists partly of members on the foundation, and partly of independent members, who are not in the receipt of money from the endowments of the college : both classes of members have an equal right to vote in the senate house of the university, and the proportion of the laymen to the clergymen ainong the registered electors is very nearly equal, with a slight
lar 1461 roles in OP 1000 Ord
preponderance of about two in favour of the clergymen, from a total number of more than 900 voters.
On the occasion of the recent contested election for the honorary office of the high steward of the University of Cambridge, the total number of voters, belonging to Trinity College, who gave their votes in Cambridge, was 469, and of these, a large proportion were certainly laymen, but in the aggregate of 1461 votes, which were given by the members of the different colleges in the university, including Trinity College, it is said that 900 or 1000 were the votes of clergymen, and it is highly probable that Lord Lyndhurst would have obtained a majority from the votes of clergymen entirely independent of the support of any laymen.
There can be no doubt at all, but that the clergy of the church of England do actually hold a predominant political power in both the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and as both these universities are represented in parliament, it becomes a legitimate subject of public interest to inquire into the origin of their parliamentary influence.
Royal charters were granted to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, in the first year of the reign of King James the First, (A. D. 1603,) for the election of Members of Parliament, of which two were allowed to each university.
Soon after these privileges had been conferred, fears were entertained lest the universities might thus lose a portion of the aristocratic patronage, which they had before enjoyed, as the duty of watching over their interests, and of protecting their rights and exclusive privileges was specially confided to their own representatives in parliament.
At the present time it is certain, that as popular power increases, and as the universities become gradually secularized, their peculiar position and their advantages will form the subject of frequent debate, and even of legislation in parliament, and the representation of their supposed interests will naturally be considered as a political advantage, while the actual possession of a majority of votes by the clergy of the Church of England will ensure, for a long time, a decidedly ecclesiastical bias to all the political proceedings of the governing body in each university.
Among the resident members of the University of Cambridge, nearly all the graduates, who are members of the senate, are also clergymen, and fellows of colleges. Indeed, the peculiarity of college statutes generally requires the taking of orders, under the penalty of expulsion from the college, which is interpreted
to mean a retirement from the foundation or endowed portion of the college.
Such an extraordinary statute was probably at first intended to induce talented and highly educated men to enter the clerical profession in the Church of England, in order to obtain the advantage of a fellowship, or to retain that emolument when once acquired. Laymen, however, contrive to obtain admittance among the college fellows in Trinity College, by an ingenious interpretation of the laws, which is worthy of notice.
Those persons only are to be chosen as the fellows of Trinity College, according to the statutes, who propose to themselves, as their final object, the study of sacred scripture, and within seven years after their admission to the degree of Masters of Arts, they are to take priests' orders, or to be for ever excluded from the college, and they are to take the following oath, among others :
“I, N. N., swear and take God to witness, that I will make Theology the end of my studies ; and that when the time prescribed in these statutes shall arrive, I will either take Holy Orders, or quit the College.”
These two clauses are interpreted as if they only formed one clause, and as if the alternative of quitting the college included the study of Theology, as well as the taking of Holy Orders.
Owing to this interpretation, or to indifference about the oath, there are usually about an equal number of laymen and clergymen to be found among the junior fellows of the college, though the senior fellows, who are all of long standing in the university, are necessarily clergymen of the Church of England, and the principal college tutors are generally of the same clerical profession.
It may, however, be seriously questioned, whether Trinity College, Cambridge, be, at the present day, a college of divines, when the majority of the students appear to go into lay professions, and when laymen actually hold a considerable number of the college fellowships.
At the commencement of the seventeenth century, Trinity College, and many other colleges at Cambridge, were, probably, colleges of divines, but it is their interest, at the present day, to become secularized, and the addition of talented lawyers to the body of the clergy is by no means a slight advantage, nor one which is undervalued by the clergy themselves.
A general account of the state of the university in 1603. is contained in the preamble to the charter of King James the First to the university, for the election of two representatives in parliament, and all the colleges certainly appear, from this document, to have been an especial object of the royal interest, and were obviously intended to be represented in parliament, with respect to their individual interests, as well as the more general interests of the university.
The charter commences in the following words : “James, by the grace of God, king of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c., to all whom the present letter may reach, greeting.
“Whereas our academy and University of Cambridge, in our county of Cambridge, is an ancient University, consisting of sixteen colleges, halls, and hostels of good learning, founded partly by our most illustrious and mighty ancestors, the kings and queens of this kingdom, and partly by archbishops, lords, grandees, nobles, bishops, and other distinguished, pious, and devout men; and moreover endowed and augmented with noble and ample rents, revenues, possessions, privileges, and other property, to the honor of God, and to the support and promotion of piety, virtue, erudition and learning. In which colleges, halls, and hostels, many local statutes, constitutions, ordinances, laws, and enactments have been made, published and ordained, both for the good administration and government of the said colleges, halls, and hostels, and of their members, and of the students in the same, and of other persons residing there; and for the lease, discharge, disposition, and preservation of the rents, revenues, possessions, and other property given, granted, assigned, or confirmed to the aforesaid colleges, halls, or hostels by their founders, or otherwise. For the observance and maintenance of which statutes, constitutions, ordinances, laws, enactments, and privileges, all those persons, or the majority of them, take corporal oaths upon the sacred gospels of God.
“And whereas in times past, and especially lately, many statutes and acts of Parliament have been made and proclaimed, both for and concerning the lease, discharge, disposition, and preservation of the rents, revenues, and possessions of the said colleges, halls, and hostels, and of their members, who are students, and residents therein :-It seems, therefore, to be worth while and necessary, that the said University, (which abounds in a multitude of men endowed with piety, wisdom, learning, and integrity,) and in which all branches of science, both divine and human, and likewise all the liberal arts have been cultivated and professed, shall, for the common advantage of the whole state, as well as of the University aforesaid, and of each of the colleges, halls, and hostels aforesaid, have burgesses in Parliament, from among their own members, who shall make known to the high court of Parliament from time to time the true state of the said University, and of each college, hall, and hostel therein, so that no statute or general act may tend to the prejudice or injury of those institutions, or of any one of them in particular, through want of just and proper knowledge and information.'
From this preamble to the charter, it seems that all the corporations of the colleges and of the university are legally re