Arnold, Thomas, Dd

Arnold, Thomas, D.D., was born at Cowes, England, June 13th, 1795. In 1803 he was sent to Winchester school, where he remained until 1811. In 1811 he obtained a scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and in 1815 a fellowship in Oriel, where he was associated with Coplestone, Whately, and Hampden, a noble band. In 1818 he was ordained deacon, in 1819 settled at Laleham, where he opened a school to fit a few young men for the university. In 1820 he married. In 1828 he was made head master of Rugby school, and ordained priest. It soon began to be noised abroad that a reform was in progress in Rugby; and the effects of Dr. Arnold's administration of the school are visible to-day, not only in Rugby, but in most schools in England. In this occupation he spent the last fourteen years of his life, and during that period took the deepest interest in all the political questions of the time. He was one of the most decided opponents of the Oxford new school of theology. His idea of a Christian Church was first given in his pamphlet on "Church Reform," which he was induced to publish in 1833, in consequence of the apprehensions he entertained of the danger which then threatened the Establishment. His theory is much the same as Hooker's --that the church and state are identical; that a church is a Christian state. His views on this subject are again stated in his Fragment on the Church, subsequently published, in which he hits the key-stone of the Tractarian heresy in attacking what he considers to be their false notions of the Christian priest" hood. Dr. Arnold's mind was early directed to the social condition of the working classes; and many efforts were made, and a variety of plans devised by him, not only for improving it, but for directing the attention of the public to a subject of so much importance. In 1841 he was appointed by Lord Melbourne to the Regius-Professorship of Modern History at Oxfordan appointment which gave him the most lively satisfaction. But he lived to deliver only his introductory course of lectures. When at the very summit of his reputation as a teacher, and at the time when the odium in which, for the liberality of his religious and political opinions, his name had been held by men of his own profession was fast disappearing, and the grandeur of his' character was every day becoming more manifest and more distinctly understood, he was seized with a fatal disease, which carried him off in a few hours. He died on the 12th of June, 1842, of spasm at the heart. His great work, and the one by which he will be remembered, is his History of Rome (Lond. 1840-1843, 3 vols. 8vo), comprehending the period between the origin of the state and the end of the Second Punic War; with his History of the later Roman Commonwealth (Lond. 1849, 2d ed. 2 vols. 8vo), reprinted from the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, carrying on the history to the time of Trajan. In the Notes and Dissertations to his edition of Thucydides he has given a social and political, as well as a critical interest to his author. History and divinity-man and man's relation to God-were his favorite studies. In both he preferred the practical to the theoretical. His Sermons (5 vols. 8vo) demonstrate with what earnestness and devotion he labored to bring religion into the daily concerns of men, and to invest every act of life with a Christian character. His remaining productions are, a volume of Lectures on Modern History, delivered at Oxford (London, 1843, 8vo), and Miscellaneous Works (Lond. 1845, 8vo), which include many articles written for reviews, etc., and essays. Most of Dr. Arnold's writings have been reprinted in New York. They are not important to scientific theology, a branch to which Arnold seems to have given no serious or prolonged study. In some points he approximated to rationalistic views of inspiration and interpretation, but his hold of Christ and of the atonement saved him from going to extremes. Still he is, perhaps justly, styled the founder of the "Broad School" of the Church of England..-Stanley, Life and Correspondence of Dr. Arnold; Eng. Encyclop.; Methodist Quart. Rev. April, 1846, p. 266; North Brit. Rev. ii, 403; Quarterly Rev. (Lond.) lxxiv, 252; Edinb. Rev. lxxxi, 99; Princeton Rev. 17:283.

 
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