University Of Oxford -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 004:16 (Nov 1847)
Article: University Of Oxford
Author: Anonymous


University Of Oxford

Oxford is, in some respects, the most picturesque and peculiar city in Europe. Standing on a gentle eminence, it has a marked advantage over Cambridge, the site of the latter being perfectly flat. The public buildings, too, in Cambridge, are concentrated to a much greater extent than in Oxford on a single street. The eastern university has, however, one structure, with which the banks of the Isis have nothing to compare—King’s College chapel,

—” that immense
And glorious work of fine intelligence.”
“They dreamed not of a perishable home Who thus could build.”—

In Oxford, the public edifices are scattered in every part of a city, containing 25,000 inhabitants. The college buildings are situated, with few exceptions, around open courts or quadrangles larger or smaller. One of the colleges has four of these quadrangles; two others, three each. The whole number is about forty. In most of these edifices, taken singly, there is little architectural beauty or magnificence. A great proportion of the buildings are but two stories in height, built of brick and stuccoed. Yet viewed as a whole, with all their towers and spires, with churches and other edifices intermingled, the effect is very impressive. The fretted pinnacles and lofty spire of St. Mary’s church, the domes of the Radcliffe Library and the Theatre, the beautiful Martyrs’ memorial cross, the massive tower of Merton College chapel, the unadorned but finely proportioned Magdalen tower, together with many other towers, steeples, turrets and cupolas, some of them partly hidden by the trees, afford a prospect of unmatched interest. Who can estimate the effects, on the heart and mind of a susceptible youth, of those piles, venerable with the moss and stains of ten centuries, before whose mullioned windows and along whose foot-worn halls, have walked Wiclif, Wolsey, Jewel, Usher, Butler, Hampden, Selden, Locke, Addison, Johnson, Chatham, Wesley, Whitefield and others of the greatest names in history? Whose soul would not be kindled and exalted amid such scenes, where some of the noblest treasures of art

and antiquity are collected, hallowed by the genius and learning and religion of a thousand years!

One of the best points of observation is on the east, at the Magdalen bridge, which spans the Cherwell on the London road. Immediately in front are

“The stream-like windings of that glorious street,”

with all its quaint, varied and most suggestive architecture. On the right, resting upon or near High-street, are Magdalen College with its fine gateway, St. Edmund’s Hall, Queen’s and All Soul’s Colleges, the lofty spire of St. Mary’s Church, the...

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