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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 27



ι·] USES OF STUDY. 21 which may not be stated as truisms, but there are no truths which a sound judgment can be warranted in despising. When the student comes to apply these lessons to the judgment of the characters and events of the history that he is studying, and to carry his experience of the past into the present, he finds, if his study has taught him facts as well as maxims, that the great necessity of practical judgment is patience and tolerance, and that the highest justice must rest content for a time to see many things continue wrong that cannot be righted without a greater wrong. The stock of information from which the student draws these practical lessons is itself the matter on which in the further stages of present history he is called upon to exercise them. He has a part to play in the politics of his own age : he must have made himself acquainted with the national identity of nations, the rights and claims, the sins and punishments and probations of dynasties ; the origins and accretions of parties ; the growth of the influences to which their owners give the name of principles. The stock of information accumulated is only secondary in importance to the habits of judgment formed by the study of it. For we want to train not merely students but citizens ; and citizens of the great communities—the church and the civilised world ; to be fitted not for criticism or for authority in matters of memory, but for action. And so it is not views of men and states that are to be taught them, but the power of judging that is to be cultivated, and the information on which that power is to be exercised that is to be imparted, and the faculty of accumulation to be directed to good and pure sources. It is not to make proselytes to one system of politics or another that the work of education is to be directed; a university is no political club or propaganda; I desire to use my office as a teacher of facts and of the right habit of using them.


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