Page images

She* on the Hills, which wantonly
Allureth all in hope to be

By her preferr’d,
Hath kissed so long her painted shrines,
That ev'n her face by kissing shines

For her reward.
She + in the valley is so shy
Of dressing, that her hair doth lie

About her ears :
While she ayoids her neighbours pride,
She wholly goes on th’ other side

And nothing wears.
But dearest mother, (what those miss)-
The mean-thy praise and glory is,

And long may be.
Blessed be God, whose love it was
To double-moat thee with his grace,

And none but thee.

* Rome.

+ Geneva.


Hulsean Lectures for 1820. Twenty among the wise, and good, and pious

Discourses preached before the of the earth, and excited a just cu. University of Cambridge in the riosity concerning the history of a Year 1820, at the Lecture found- public benefactor: ed by the Rev. John Hulse. By .“ Under this obscurity we can only, the Rev. C. Benson, M.A. late of and we may surely be permitted to, conTrinity College, and now Fellow jecture, that he, who in his latter years of Magdalene College, Cambridge. expressed so fervent a solicitude for the 8vo. 447 pp. Baldwin & Co.

interests of religion and virtue, must have

been early habituated to serious thoughts; The Rev. John Hulse, of Elworth, Creator in the last act of his life, could

and that he who so well remembered his in the county and diocese of Ches

scarce have been unmindful of him even in ter, and formerly of St. John's Col- the proudest days of his youth. lege in the University of Cambridge, “ After having fulfilled the common was born in the beginning of the and preparatory exercises of education, eighteenth century, and took the Mr. Hulse entered into holy orders in the degree of B.A. in the year 1728.

English Church, and commenced the laOf the moral liabits or litera

bours of his ministerial functions, upon a quirements of his early years no

small curacy in the country, where it was his

lot to spend many years of a life which, as thing is known, and the sequestered I think,' he observes,' that no man did ever tenour of his future life would pro envy, so I bless God that no man could bably have passed without notice, ever reproach.' Upon the death of his if the record, and nature, and ex

father be appears to have quitted this tent of his bequests to the Univer- situation, and to have passed the remainder sity, had not distinguished him

of his days in singleness, in retirement,

and in piety, upon the land of his paternal REMEMBRANCER, No. 41.



[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

inheritance in Cheshire, enjoying with mo "To show, the evidence for revealed deration its fruiis, and distributing of its religion, and to demonstrate in the most abundance in charity to men. There was convincing and persuasive manner the the usual place of his sojourving upon truth and excellence of Christianity, so as earth : there did he endure, with subnis- to include not only the prophecies and sion, meekness, and resignation to the will miracles, general and particular, but also of heaven, 'the most acute and extreme any other proper or useful arguments, pain' of a lingering disease, soothing him whether the same be direct or collateral self in the intervals of suffering with the proofs of the Christian religion, which he charms of music; and there, in the year may think fittest to discourse npon either 1789, did he yield up his peaceful and in general or particular, especially the colpatient spirit to the God who gave it, and lateral arguments, or else any particular dropped into the grave in the age and re- article or branch thereof; and chiefly verence of more than seventy years.” - against notorious infidels, whether atheists P. 11.

or deists, not descending to any particular

sects or controversies, so much to be The bequests of Mr. Hulse to the lamented amongst Christians themselves ; University of Cambridge are of con except some new or dangerous error, siderable value, and are all appro- either of superstition or enthusiasm, as of priated to one and the same pur Popery or Methodism, shall arise, in which pose ; the advancement of religious

case only it may be necessary for that time learning, and the counteraction of

to write and preach against the same.'

Such are the liberal and comprehensive infidelity. This purpose was natu

terms in which the founder has described rally suggested by the circumstances

ope portion of the duties of the Christian of the times in which he lived and preacher. With regard to the other he is in which he died, of which the former equally judicious, and directs that he shall was the age of Toland, and the lat- take for his subject some of the most diffiter of Paine. The method in which calt texts, or obscure parts of Holy Scriphe has sought the accomplishment tore, such, I mean, as may appear to be

more generally useful, or necessary to be of bis important purpose is three.

explained, and which may best admit of fold: 1. 'An annual premium of such a comment or explanation, without forty pounds is proposed to the presuming to pry too far into the profound writer of the best Dissertation on secrets or awful mysteries of the Almighty." some subject connected with the P. 26. Evidences of Christianity; and as

“ It were impossible that Mr. Hulse the candidate may not have taken, of the duties of the Christian preacher,

could better have concluded his statement nor be of standing to take the de- than by enjoining that in which, the said gree of M.A., it is evident that this twenty sermons, such practical observapremium is chiefly intended to excite tions shall be made, and such useful conthe attention of young men to the clnsions added, as may best instruct and study of theology, to fix their prin- edify mankind.” P. 39. ciples, and enable them to fix the The purpose of the founder is unprinciples of others. 2. The duty questionably good; but the plan of the Christian advocate, the se will require much revision, before it cond institution of Mr. Hulse, is to can be permanently carried into exobviate by annual or more frequent ecution. It will probably be asked, answers, such popular objections why a long interval of thirty years, against natural and revealed Reli. an interval distinguished by sceptigion, as may from time to time arise, cal infatuation, has been suffered to and to be ready in a more private elapse before the delivery of the Lecmanner, to satisfy the doubts and tures thus endowed. The answer scruples of the honest and candid is, that the proceeds of the estate inquirer after truth. 3. The office were not sufficient to defray the ex. of the Christian preacher, is to de- pence of printing, and that even now liver in every year twenty Sermons, the Preacher's chief remuneration of which the subjects are thus pre- arises, not from the emoluments of scribed in the founder's will: his office, but from the conscious.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

ness of labouring in an honourable forcible. A second method which suga and holy cause. But will men al- gests itself is, that of leaving the number ways be found ready, without hope of sermons to be preached unaltered, and of secular recompence, to bring to making a clange only in the provision

which relates to printing, which change the office of the Hulsean Lecturer, may be effected either by stipulating some such a measure of talent and re.

number less than twenty, which shall alsearch, as is requisite to fix the ate ways be committed to the press, or by tention of the younger and the older leaving the matter entirely at the option members of the University ? If the of the trustees, or of the lecturer himself. same Preacher, according to the li- The third method is that of reducing the cense of the founder, shall be elect- necessity of printing altogether. Bnt in

number to be preached, and removing the ed again for six or seven years in this there would be so great and manifest succession, to deliver in each year a violation of the founder's intentions, that a course of twenty Sermons on the no one, I apprehend, would venture to same topic, is there no danger, that recommend it as either judicious or just." the congregation at Great St. Mary's P. 48. will be wearied of the same tone and Mr. Benson also submits the exmanner, however eloquent and ac- pedience of altering the time of de. complished, and be impatient at the livering the autumnal course of Hulcontinued exclusion of other preach- sean Lectures, so as properly to ers, and other discourses? May not bring them within the period in the preacher himself be tempted which the University is full: and, into attenuation and prolixity of ar. again, he recommends that one-half gument, or into enlarged digressions of the Sernions to be delivered by on the practical application, because the Hulsean Lecturer shall assume the demonstration of the truth, or the form of Lectures in Divinity, to the illustration of the difficult text, be read in the Midsummer term, is exhausted? Will it be possible to when the Norrisian Professor does prosecute the argument, through a not deliver Lectures. series of Discourses, as copious as We have no doubt, that it will Manton's Sermons on the several

eventually be necessary to reduce verses of Psalm cxix, without ex

the number of Sermons, and that hausting the patience of the hum. such reduction, by allowing more blest inquirer, and repelling, instead time for preparation and revision, of attracting, the attention of the and by requiring a more compressed ordinary sceptic? Or, lastly, when and finished mode of argument, will the distended volumes of the Hul- be an act of justice to the reader, sean Lecturer are committed to the the learer, the preacher, and the press, will it be possible, by any principal subject. If, however, the exertion, to force them into sale and specitic number of twenty Dis. circulation ? Mr. Benson is sensible

courses shall be required, we would of these difficulties, and adverts to recommend Mr. Benson's last sugthree different methods of modify- gestion to the most serious consiing the provisions of Mr. Hulse's deration of the trustees, with this will:

alteration, that if the oral delivery “ There appears to be three different and subsequent publication of ten methods of modifying the provisions of Mr.

or twelve Sermons on the Evidences Hulse. First, it may be done by abso- of Christianity shall be required, the lutely reducing the number of sermons to founder's intention may be satisfied be both preached and printed from twenty with the publication without any down to twelve or ten; in which case the public recitation of eight or ten lecturer would be able to devote a greater brief dissertations on difficult texts composition, and by labour in writing and of Scripture. By such an arrangecondensation of thought be enabled to ment, the University pulpit would render his ideas at once more clear and be less occupied, and the same mea.

sure of instruction would be pro- and prophecy in connexion with the vided.

internal evidence of his doctrines. The proposition for reducing the The discussion of the miraculous number of Sermons, may seem to evidence is introduced by proof of derive some advantage and authority the credibility of the Evangelists, as from the precedent established in mere human witnesses and uninspirthe present publication, of which ed historians. In this capacity, it the two first Discourses consist of is proved, not only that they had no preliminary Remarks on the Charac- interest in imposing upon the world, ter and Schemes of the Founder ; but every secular motive conspired and of which the seveni last Dis- to dispose them to retract the truth courses are confessedly practical, which they taught, and in attesta. and without any reference to the tion of which they displayed the Evidences of Christianity, which oc- deepest and most unesampled sin. cupy no more than the eleven inter. cerity. Some of the miracles, of mediate Discourses. In these, it is which they were witnesses, were of the object of the author “ to sys- the grandest and most stupendous tematize what we may call the Evan- kind, but they were not of a nature gelical demonstration, and to ar to produce an improper bias upon range its parts so as to give them their senses and faculties, or to distheir proper application and their qualify them to bear their testimony greatest force." The connected to other miracles of a more ordinary chain of positive evidences, is con- description, and the force of which tained in the third, fifth, seventh, any plain man was capable of appreand in the concluding part of the hending: ninth, Discourses. The remaining Discourses are employed in meeting miracles of Jesus which were of a more

“ If by arguments deduced from those objections, and in considering some common and less confounding nature, of the collateral arguments in favour if by inferences drawn from those wonof Christianity.

ders, where mercy, unmingled with awfulThe principal purport of these ness, prevailed, and where there was no Lectures is to lay before the reader, splendid terrors to drive reason from her

seat, and where there was nothing, there“ Such an impartial and connected view fore, that could impeach the credibility of of the evidences of the Gospel as may the witnesses,-if, by the testimony of the serve to distinguish the relative value of Evangelists to simple facts, we can once each particular branch, and to point ont fairly establish the divine authority of the the respective place which the miracles Gospel, the certainty of every other wonand the prophecies, the life and doctrine der it records, however awfully glorious or of our Saviour possess, in contributing to sublimely obscure, must follow in the train the final result,"

of its various consequences.

not, perhaps, be authorized to reckon the The point from which the Preacher Transtiguration or the Ascension amongst takes this view is the narrative of the vumber of those premises from which the Baptist's message to our Lord, the truth of Christianity itself is, in the inquiring, whether be were or were

first instance, or solely to be, drawn; but, not the expected Messiah : and he

when once that truth has been ascertained is supposed, according to the old by any other means, the truth of these

wonders becomes a necessary and irreinterpretation of Justin Martyr, to

sistible conclusion, because they form a have made this inquiry for his own part of what has already been proved to satisfaction, when he had beard by he true. It is requisite to mark and to report of the works of Jesus, but remember this distinction between the was not in possession of authentic different kinds of our Saviour's miracles, evidence to confirm that report. In because it is by exclusively directing his his conduct upon this occasion, our

efforts against those which are more singuLord is shewn to have adverted to

lar in their nature that the Deist would

disturb the repose of the Christian upon the external evidevce of miracles the credibility of the Evangelists." P.77.

We may

The credibility of the historians therefore credibly attested; and once established, leaves no room for they were sufficient in his judgment, just exception to the credibility of and in that of his Apostles and of the facts which they have recorded, the Jews, to demonstrate him a Dihowever miraculous those facts may vine Prophet. They were at least be. There are, nevertheless, two such as proved him to have the supprincipal objections, which it would port of some superior Being, and be improper to overlook. The first that Being, as Mr. Benson expais, that the force of the original tes- tiates on our Lord's own argument, timony is weakened by successive , can have been no other than the transmission. In answer to this ob- Deity. The objection which Rousjection, it is proposed on the autho. seau draws from our ignorance of rity of Bishop Marsh, " to arrange the laws of nature is shewn to be the testimonies in a retrograde or- inadequate, and is of no more value der, beginning from the present than the objection which is derived time and going upwards to the by Hume from our limited expeapostolic days ;” and as there have rience. been many witnesses in each suc Before Mr. Benson proceeds with ceeding age, it is contended, that his argument, or proves that our “ the probability or possibility that Lord is not only a Prophet, but the any single witness, or chain of wito Prophet, he takes occasion to prove nesses, should deceive or be deceiv- the inspiration of the Apostles, for ed, must be opposed by the impro- he had hitherto insisted on their bability or impossibility, that so competence and credibility, merely many witnesses, or chains of wit. as uninspired historians. Their innesses, should be deceived." It spiration was however necessary to might also have been urged, tliat confirm their infallibility as bistothere has been, in fact, no corrupt- rians, and as interpreters both of ing transmission of the evidence, Jewish prophecy and of Christian that we have the report of the first doctrine: and the proofs of this ne. witnesses; but as the authenticity cessary inspiration are the promises of the records has not been proved, of our Lord, the assertion of the the assumption might have been Apostles confirmed by the belief of considered premature. Another ob- the primitive ages, and the fulfiljection is, that miracles are in them- ment in all succeeding time of the selves incredible, because they are prophecies which they delivered. contrary to experience : and the The successive composition of the force of this objection is worthily Books of the New Testament by in. repelled, “ by denying, that expe- dividuals writing at different times rience is in all cases the measure of and in different places, and agreethe intrinsic credibility of facts," ing in one common testimony, afand by proving,

fords advantages which it would be “ That our experience of what has imprudent to overlook, although it

“ That our experience of what has may be difficult to appreciate. Mr. already occurred is a safe guide of reason

Benson contrasts the different cir. ing and a sound rule of judgment, as to the natural credibility of alleged matters

cumstances, under which the New of fact, only in those cases in which the Testament and the Koran were com, circumstances are similar, or the same. posed, and reflects on the just susWhen the circumstances vary, and in pro- picion which attaches to the work portion as they vary, in the same degree of a solitary individual : are the deductions from past experience inapplicable, and in the same degree does “ But the writings of the New Testatestimony alone become the measare of ment are the mere transcripts of what had trath and the ground of belief.”

been already, both long and extensively,

promulgated by various teachers. It was, The miracles of our Lord are therefore, impossible for any deviation to

« PreviousContinue »