21 JUNE 1873, Page 3

At the Oxford Commemoration, on Wednesday, Professor Tyndall received the

honorary degree of D.C.L., whereupon the Margaret Professor of Divinity, Dr. Heurtley, lodged a kind of protest, in which he said that he did not object to a Mohammedan receiving the honorary degree,—as one did last year,—but he does object to its being given to one who has written against and denied " the credibility of miracles and the efficacy of prayer." Dr. Heurtley admits that there is no logical ground, now that tests have been abolished, for refusing a University honour to a distinguished man of science. But he thinks "the University ought not to have been asked to go out of her way to show the world with what a ready zeal she could abandon her ancient principles, and decorate with her honours one who has employed his talents to subvert the faith which was committed to her to sustain and uphold." That is, after the Jews' disabilities were removed, it would have been indecent for the Throne to have conferred,—speedily at least,—any honour upon a Jew? Professor Tyndall is decorated for his scientific attainments, not for his writings against miracles and prayer, which were not remarkable in any way. Dr. Heartley would have these writings count negatively, as it were, like bad marks, against Professor Tyndall's scientific attainments. Where would that land him? Should the University also take into account the moral objections against the lives of distinguished public men before decorating them? If not, would he let intellectual error count more heavily than moral unfaithfulness ? Dr. Heurtley should not let it be said that the study of divinity favours weakly sentiments and untenable positions.