« Arnold, Gottfried Arnold, Matthew Arnold, Nikolaus »

Arnold, Matthew

ARNOLD, MATTHEW: Church of England; b. at Laleham, near Chertsey (32 m. w.s.w. of London), Dec. 24, 1822, eldest son of Thomas Arnold (q.v.); d. in Liverpool Apr. 15, 1888. He studied at Winchester and Rugby schools, and at Balliol College, Oxford, and became fellow of Oriel 1845. In 1847 he became private secretary to the Marquis of Lansdowne, then president of the council and acting as minister of public instruction; by his influence was appointed in 1851 as inspector of schools, and held the position till 1886. He was professor of poetry at Oxford 1857–67. He was a zealous and able official and his reports upon continental schools, which he visited frequently, are valuable in educational literature. His poetry is of high rank; and as literary critic he was unrivaled in his generation. He possessed a subtle mind, a keen critical spirit, and a passionate love of truth, which, when applied to religious problems, found many defects is the current theology of the time; the chief being a disposition to rest on unprovable assumptions and to ignore the claims of reason. The greatest good he held to be progress toward perfection; and such progress could only be made by ‘culture,’which meet acquaintance with the best that has been done and thought in the world. He declared that ‘oonduct is three-fourths of life,’characterised religion as ‘morality touched with emotion,’originated the phrase ‘the enduring power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness,’and believed that ‘miracles do not happen.’His works which bear on religious topics are: Culture and Anarchy (London, 1869); St. Paul and Protestantism: with an introduction on Puritanism, and the Church of England (1870); Literature and Dogma, an essay toward a better appreciation of the Bible (1873); God and the Bible, a review of objections toLiterature and Dogma’(1875); Last Essays on Church and Religion (1877). He also edited, with prefaces and notes, the two sections of the Book of Isaiah, A Bible-Reading for Schools, the great prophecy of Israel’s Restoration [Isaiah xl.–lxvi.] (1872; new ed., 1875); Isaiah of Jerusalem [Isaiah i.–xxxix.] (1883). A complete edition of his works in 15 volumes was issued in London and New York, 1903–04. In accordance with his wish no authorised biography has been published, but his Letters, 1848–88 (collected and arranged by G. W. E. Russell, 2 vols., London, 1895) furnish an excellent substitute.

Bibliography: For life, DNB, Supplement, i. 70–75; G. W. E. Russell, Matthew Arnold, London, 1904. For his influence on the age, J. M. Robertson, Modern Humanists, London, 1891; W. H. Hudson, Studies in Interpretation, New York, 1896; J. Fitch, Thomas and Matthew Arnold and their Influence on English Education, London, 1897; G. White, Matthew Arnold and the Spirit of the Age, New York, 1898; G. Saintsbury, Matthew Arnold, London, 1899; W. H. Dawson, Matthew Arnold and his Relation to the Thought of our Time, New York, 1904; J. M. Dixon, Matthew Arnold, New York, 1906 (on the religious side of his philosophy and poetry).

« Arnold, Gottfried Arnold, Matthew Arnold, Nikolaus »
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