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This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr.

SCIENCE & EDUCATION

ESSAYS

BY

THOMAS H. HUXLEY

PREFACE

The apology offered in the Preface to the first volume of this series for the occurrence of repetitions, is even more needful here I am afraid. But it could hardly be otherwise with speeches and essays, on the same topic, addressed at intervals, during more than thirty years, to widely distant and different hearers and readers. The oldest piece, that "On the Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences," contains some crudities, which I repudiated when the lecture was first reprinted, more than twenty years ago; but it will be seen that much of what I have had to say, later on in life, is merely a development of the propositions enunciated in this early and sadly-imperfect piece of work.

In view of the recent attempt to disturb the compromise about the teaching of dogmatic theology, solemnly agreed to by the first School Board for London, the fifteenth Essay; and, more particularly, the note n. 3, may be found interesting.

T. H. H.

Hodeslea, Eastbourne, _September 4th, 1893_.

CONTENTS

I JOSEPH PRIESTLEY [1874] (An Address delivered on the occasion of the presentation of a statue of Priestley to the town of Birmingham)

II ON THE EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF THE NATURAL HISTORY SCIENCES [1854] (An Address delivered in S. Martin's Hall)

III EMANCIPATION--BLACK AND WHITE [1865]

IV A LIBERAL EDUCATION; AND WHERE TO FIND IT [1868] (An Address to the South London Working Men's College)

V SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION: NOTES OF AN AFTER-DINNER SPEECH [1869] (Liverpool Philomathic Society)

VI SCIENCE AND CULTURE [1880] (An Address delivered at the opening of Sir Josiah Mason's Science College, Birmingham)

VII ON SCIENCE AND ART IN RELATION TO EDUCATION [1882] (An Address to the members of the Liverpool Institution)

VIII UNIVERSITIES: ACTUAL AND IDEAL [1874] (Rectorial Address, Aberdeen)

IX ADDRESS ON UNIVERSITY EDUCATION [1876] (Delivered at the opening of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)

X ON THE STUDY OF BIOLOGY [1876] (A Lecture in connection with the Loan Collection of Scientific Apparatus, South Kensington Museum)

XI ON ELEMENTARY INSTRUCTION IN PHYSIOLOGY [1877]

XII ON MEDICAL EDUCATION [1870] (An Address to the students of the Faculty of Medicine in University College, London)

XIII THE STATE AND THE MEDICAL PROFESSION [1884]

XIV THE CONNECTION OF THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES WITH MEDICINE [1881] (An Address to the International Medical Congress)

XV THE SCHOOL BOARDS: WHAT THEY CAN DO, AND WHAT THEY MAY DO [1870]

XVI TECHNICAL EDUCATION [1877]

XVII ADDRESS ON BEHALF OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION [1887]

COLLECTED ESSAYS

VOLUME III

I

JOSEPH PRIESTLEY

[1874]

If the man to perpetuate whose memory we have this day raised a statue had been asked on what part of his busy life's work he set the highest value, he would undoubtedly have pointed to his voluminous contributions to theology. In season and out of season, he was the steadfast champion of that hypothesis respecting the Divine nature which is termed Unitarianism by its friends and Socinianism by its foes. Regardless of odds, he was ready to do battle with all comers in that cause; and if no adversaries entered the lists, he would sally forth to seek them.

To this, his highest ideal of duty, Joseph Priestley sacrificed the vulgar prizes of life, which, assuredly, were within easy reach of a man of his singular energy and varied abilities. For this object he put aside, as of secondary importance, those scientific investigations which he loved so well, and in which he showed himself so competent to enlarge the boundaries of natural knowledge and to win fame. In this cause he not only cheerfully suffered obloquy from the bigoted and the unthinking, and came within sight of martyrdom; but bore with that which is much harder to be borne than all these, the unfeigned astonishment and hardly disguised contempt of a brilliant society, composed of men whose sympathy and esteem must have been most dear to him, and to whom it was simply incomprehensible that a philosopher should seriously occupy himself with any form of Christianity.

It appears to me that the man who, setting before himself such an ideal of life, acted up to it consistently, is worthy of the deepest respect, whatever opinion may be entertained as to the real value of the tenets which he so zealously propagated and defended.

But I am sure that I speak not only for myself, but for all this assemblage, when I say that our purpose to-day is to do honour, not to Priestley, the Unitarian divine, but to Priestley, the fearless defender of rational freedom in thought and in action: to Priestley, the philosophic thinker; to that Priestley who held a foremost place among "the swift runners who hand over the lamp of life," [1] and transmit from one generation to another the fire kindled, in the childhood of the world, at the Promethean altar of Science.

The main incidents of Priestley's life are so well known that I need dwell upon them at no great length.

Born in 1733, at Fieldhead, near Leeds, and brought up among Calvinists of the straitest orthodoxy, the boy's striking natural ability led to his being devoted to the profession of a minister of religion; and, in 1752, he was sent to the Dissenting Academy at Daventry--an institution which authority left undisturbed, though its existence contravened the law. The teachers under whose instruction and influence the young man came at Daventry, carried out to the letter the injunction to "try all things: hold fast that which is good," and encouraged the discussion of every imaginable proposition with complete freedom, the leading professors taking opposite sides; a discipline which, admirable as it may be from a purely scientific point of view, would seem to be calculated to make acute, rather than sound, divines. Priestley tells us, in his "Autobiography," that he generally found himself on the unorthodox side: and, as he grew older, and his faculties attained their maturity, this native tendency towards heterodoxy grew with his growth and strengthened with his strength. He passed from Calvinism to Arianism; and finally, in middle life, landed in that very broad form of Unitarianism by which his craving after a credible and consistent theory of things was satisfied.

On leaving Daventry Priestley became minister of a congregation, first at Needham Market, and secondly at Nantwich; but whether on account of his heterodox opinions, or of the stuttering which impeded his expression of them in the pulpit, little success attended his efforts in this capacity. In 1761, a career much more suited to his abilities


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